An increasing number of vessels have been fined for violating Chinese pollution regulations relating to discharges of garbage/sewage in the Bohai Sea, China.
In August 2015, Chinese media reported that “More than 2.8 billion tons of waste water and 700,000 tons of other pollutants are being discharged into northeastern China’s Bohai Sea every year and are threatening the local ecosystem.” The growth of industrial plants in Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning and Shandong, along with extensive shipping to ports in the Bohai Sea, were blamed for the worsening marine pollution and China’s Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing said that “Local authorities need to strengthen supervision and increase penalties on enterprises' pollution discharge.”
On 5 November 2015, Gard’s correspondent in China, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd. reported a notable increase in the number of vessels fined by China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) for violating the Chinese pollution regulations pertaining to discharges of garbage and sewage in the Bohai Sea. The local MSA appears to have increased their efforts to monitor potential violators and, depending on the extent of the violations, penalties ranging from RMB 20,000 to RMB 200,000 have been imposed. According to the correspondent, some vessels have been fined for illegal dumping of garbage and sewage; others for failure to maintain proper records.
The correspondent’s circular no. PNI1509 “Administrative penalties on Vessels for Discharging Waste and Sewage in Bohai Bay, China” clarifies the current situation and provides information on the Chinese pollution regulations applicable to vessels. To summarise:
Gard’s Members and clients operating in China should ensure that vessels calling ports in the Bohai Sea are familiar with the declared Chinese territorial sea limits and have proper procedures onboard for discharging garbage and sewage in accordance with MARPOL and the Chinese pollution regulations in force. It is also important that the crew accurately record all disposals of pollutants in the relevant record book(s).
Other information concerning Chinese pollution regulations:
We are grateful to Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd. for providing this information.