China – Penalties for waste discharged in Bohai Bay, Tianjin

5 November 2015

Members proceeding to the North East coast of China should note that there has recently been an increase in the numbers of cases involving vessels being fined by the local Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) for discharging garbage/sewage into Bohai Bay, China. The Correspondent, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Limited, Tianjin, has issued a detailed Circular clarifying the regulations concerning discharges of waste into the ocean in Bohai Bay area.

Annex V of Marpol 73/78 provides for food garbage only to be discharged at least 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline, with stricter provisions for certain other types of waste. As, however, Bohai Bay is an area of nearly enclosed inland sea, the discharge of any garbage in Bohai Bay is prohibited. MSA officers attending on board vessels during PSC inspections have simply picked up on discharges of garbage/sewage as stated in the vessel’s records. The penalties imposed on those in breach range from the equivalent of USD 3,000 to USD 30,000, in accordance with Article 73 of the PRC’s law on Protection of the Marine Environment.

A copy of the Correspondent’s Circular with further details can be accessed by clicking here.

Members should refrain from discharging any waste/sewage in Bohai Bay to avoid such penalties and any potential delay arising as a consequence.