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Discharge of washwaters from open-loop scrubbers prohibited


20/07/2020 - 6:44 | Author: Proinde

While the maritime authority has already issued guidelines on the implementation of IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap in Brazil, the regulation did not address the discharge of washwaters from exhaust gas cleaning systems – EGCS (scrubbers), leading to unawareness of visiting ships about the rules prevailing in the country.  

Navy’s Directorate of Ports and Coasts (DPC) clarified that, in the absence of more data on the effects of open-loop scrubber effluents into the sea, and considering the provisions of Law 9,966/2000, which deals with the release of substances harmful to the aquatic environment, the discharge of washwaters is prohibited. The restriction applies to Brazilian jurisdictional waters that extend for at least 200 nautical miles from the baselines of the outer edge of the territorial sea, as defined in the “Maritime Authority Standards for the Operation of Foreign-flagged Vessels in Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters” – NORMAM 04/DPC.

Therefore, vessels fitted with an open-loop scrubber should only burn IMO 2020-compliant bunkers while operating in Brazilian waters. There is no bar in using closed scrubbers or hybrid scrubbers in closed-loop, as long as in zero discharge mode and conform with IMO guidelines for EGCS (Resolution MEPC.259(68)).

It is possible to discharge scrubbing residues to shore reception facilities in some Brazilian ports with prior permission from the local maritime and port health authorities.

Non-compliant fuels or defective scrubbing systems may lead to vessel’s detention and fines of up to BRL 50 million, without prejudice to other penalties provided for in specific statutes related to shipboard pollution (Law 9,966/2000) and environmental crimes (Law 9,605/1998).

Published 8 July 2020. Update 20 July 2020

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