New law to combat waste dumping in the North Sea

From now on, ships and floating platforms will no longer be able to dump waste into the North Sea with impunity. Belgium has adopted the MARPOL Convention, meaning ships and floating platforms can after all be sanctioned for polluting the North Sea, the Federal Public Service (FPS) for Mobility and Transport announced on Friday.

In addition to CO2 emissions, shipping also pollutes the sea with various waste products such as cargo residues, fish waste and pieces of net. All ships, regardless of size or function, will have to comply with the new convention from now on. Pleasure craft are also subject to the new rule. In addition, a new Royal Decree should strengthen the existing legal framework and make sanctions more effective.

"This convention contributes to the rollout of an ambitious environmental policy at both the national and international level"

The MARPOL Convention was adopted in 1973 by the International Maritime Organisation. The most important provision of the convention is undoubtedly an absolute ban on the discharge of plastics in any form into the sea. It also provides for port state control, in order to verify that captain and crew are correctly implementing waste management.

"This convention contributes to the rollout of an ambitious environmental policy at both the national and international level", the FPS communicated on Friday. The treaty is in line with the "Marine Litter Action Plan", drawn up in 2017 to map and tackle pollution in Belgian waters.




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