Waste Reception Facilities at Harbours

Part of Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 17th March 1997.

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Photo of Mr John Bowis Mr John Bowis , Battersea 8:15 pm, 17th March 1997

On the last point, I can confirm that progress has been made. We have reached the stage where that will occur.

On that happy note, I can pass on to the amendment. We have no difficulty with the aims of the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Ms Jackson). Harbour authorities in the United Kingdom have for many years been required to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities for ships' waste. We will use the power provided by clause 5 to make regulations on waste management planning. We believe that the planning process will ensure that all ports, harbours and marinas comply with the existing requirement to ensure the provision of adequate facilities.

We do not need the amendments, because we can and will deal with the matters covered by them, and they were all covered by the merchant shipping notice that the Marine Safety Agency issued last year. The notice requests that all ports, harbours, marinas and oil terminals develop plans on a voluntary basis pending the introduction of legislation, and recommends that in preparing plans consideration should be given to the assessment and monitoring of the types and quantities of waste discharged, the development of effective procedures for informing port users about waste reception facilities, how the charging mechanism might influence the use of facilities, and measures to ensure ease of use.

Those matters will all be covered by the regulations that we shall make under the power provided by clause 5. The amendments are unnecessary. Clause 5 will shortly be in force, I hope, and we can implement the Bill as an Act for the protection of the seas and seafarers.