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Web Alert: Argentina garbage discharge issues

26 May 2016

The club has been advised by the local correspondents in Argentina (Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L.) that there has been an increase in the activity of the Argentinean Authorities ordering vessels to land garbage ashore at a significant cost.
Although the garbage disposal at Argentinean ports is not mandatory, the inspection by the National Health Service & Food Quality Authority (SENASA) is mandatory. The sanitary inspectors of SENASA, after their inspection onboard, may require the garbage to be disposed ashore. Previously SENASA inspectors have ordered the landing of garbage when it has amounted to two to three cubic meters. This is very much at the discretion of the inspector concerned as no account seems to be taken of the vessel´s arrangements for storage of garbage or its capacity.

The Argentinean Coastguard - Prefecture Naval Argentina (PNA) - is the enforcement authority responsible for the application of MARPOL requirements. There have been a few recent reported cases where, during the port state control inspections, the PNA inspectors observed the presence of excessive garbage onboard and ordered it to be disposed ashore. The volumes of garbage concerned have also been in the region of two to three cubic meters.

The costs of such landing of garbage to a shore reception facility are in the region of a minimum of $3,000 for up to three cubic metres of garbage, and a further $1,000 for the disposal of each additional cubic metre of garbage. With regard to the applicable fines, besides administrative sanctions which might be also applied on local agencies and/or firms, fines for non-compliance of the sanitary regulations may be enforced on the ship’s agent (as vessel’s/owner’s representative) estimating up to AR$1,000,000 (about $72,000).
Furthermore, it should be noted that the port authority in the province of Buenos Aires has enacted a legislation affecting the ports of San Nicolas, Campana, Zarate, Ensenada and La Plata, requiring mandatory disposal of garbage ashore at the first port of call in the province. This regulation has not yet been enforced due to local complaints; but if it does, then there could be additional fees levied on the vessels.
Ships calling at Argentinean ports are recommended to maintain a garbage quantity of less than two cubic meters (if possible) with due compliance to MARPOL Annex V requirements; otherwise it is very likely that SENASA (National Health Authority) or PNA (Coastguards) may require shore disposal.