Delivery of ship waste to ports, Assarmatori and Confitarma: absurd to make the owners pay the implementation fee of the new legislation

Higher costs and new bureaucratic constraints; these latter have been denounced by Confitarma and Assarmatori in relation to the situation that has arisen in Italian ports, following the entry into force of the legislative Decree no. 197 of 8 November 2021, relating to the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/883, on port reception facilities for ship waste.

Emblematic in this sense is the case of the Motorways of the Sea liner ships for which the new legislation has confirmed the system of the pre-existing exemption, according which ships embodying the necessary requirements, verified by the Maritime Authority, could only deliver waste to a port along the route.

The only real novelty – in addition to the obligation to enter into a service contract with a collection facility located in one of the ports along the ship’s route (a condition that is sometimes difficult to meet) – is that the requirements must now be verified by the Port System Authority, which should issue an exemption certificate.

Conditionality is a must, since the Port Authorities do not issue such certificates. Consequently, several ships, while still meeting the legal requirements, have in fact lost their exemption status with a consequent unjustified increase in costs and administrative burdens for the collection of waste, which were previously not foreseen.

On the contrary, for collection and disposal service providers, which in most cases continue to operate in a monopoly regime even though the new legislation no longer provides for a single operator, an unjustified increase in revenue is being recorded, without any change in either waste collection or investment plans.

Another serious application anomaly is recorded in the interpretation of the exemption concept. Legislative Decree 197/2021, faithfully transposing the directive, has finally clarified that the exemption along the ship’s route concerns all three obligations (notification, conferment, payment) and that the Port System Authorities must define specific criteria for determining the fees to be applied only in the port where the delivery actually takes place.

Unfortunately, however, several Port System Authorities are expressly providing for exemption only from the notification and delivery obligations but not from the payment of the tariff, thus mortifying the essence and scope of the rule itself.

For years, it has been debated about simplification, transparency and de-bureaucratization of the shipping sector but such a picture configures an opposite situation. Therefore, the two shipowners’ associations hope that these regulations will be applied in their entirety, without unjustified and erroneous interpretations of clear and indisputable rules.