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MARPOL Annex V garbage record book—marine notice 3/2017

General information to shipowners, masters and crews on recent changes to the format of the garbage record book.

The purpose of this Marine Notice is to provide general information to shipowners, masters and crews on recent changes to the format of the Garbage Record Book, as required under Australian legislation1, in accordance with Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).  

This notice is issued as general guidance only and should be read in conjunction with the relevant Acts, Marine Orders and Standards. This document does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for independent professional advice.

Requirement for garbage record books

Under MARPOL Annex V, every ship of 400 gross tonnage and above, and every ship certified to carry 15 or more persons engaged in international voyages is required to maintain a Garbage Record Book. The record book, whether as a part of the ship’s official log-book or separate, is to be in the form specified in MARPOL Annex V.

New format of the garbage record book

Amendments to the format of the Garbage Record Book, aimed to simplify the recording process, enter into force internationally on 1 March 2018. From this date, the format will be specified in Appendix II of MARPOL Annex V.  

From 1 December 2017, all Garbage Record Books purchased from AMSA’s website or at  local AMSA offices, will be in the updated format, however operators can still use the previous version of the record book until 1 March 2018. 

MARPOL amendments

The requirements to maintain and retain the Garbage Record Book onboard the ship remain unchanged. These include:  

  • the general types of information to be recorded; 
  • the requirement for the officer in charge to record and sign-off each discharge into the sea, or to a reception facility; 
  • the requirement for the master of the ship to sign-off each completed page;
  • the retention of receipts for using a waste reception facility in port with the record book; and
  • the retention of the record book for two years, for inspection by authorities. 

The main change is that the Record of Garbage Discharges will be divided into Part I and Part II. Amendments have also been made to align the terminology in the Format of the Garbage Record Book and the Record of Garbage Discharges.  

Part I of the Record of Garbage Discharges will be for the use of all ships. Part II will be only required for ships that carry solid bulk cargoes. Part I and Part II will be produced as two separate record books (similar to Part I and Part II of the Oil Record Book, required under MARPOL Annex I). 

Part I

The following categories of garbage discharge will need to be recorded under Part I:

  1. Plastics
  2. Food wastes
  3. Domestic wastes
  4. Cooking oil
  5. Incinerator ashes
  6. Operational wastes
  7. Animal carcass(es)
  8. Fishing gear
  9. E-waste  

For each entry, the date-time, category and signature sections remain unchanged. However, the details to be included for the specific discharge have been expanded. 

The position of the ship at the time of discharge will need to include information such as the latitude and longitude for a discharge at sea, or the details of the location when discharging to a reception facility. 

In addition, the details of the specific discharge record will need to be separated to clearly identify if the waste was: incinerated; discharged into the sea; or discharged to a reception facility or to another ship. The measurement to be used for the amount of waste discharged (i.e. m3) will also need to identified. 

There will also be a section for remarks on the incineration or discharge of the waste to align with the requirements of MARPOL Annex V (e.g. position of the ship and the start and stop times for incineration). 

Part I of the Garbage Record Book will also have a separate section for recording exceptional discharges or loss of garbage, including those exceptional situations outlined in MARPOL Annex V (see MN 4/2016 for more information on MARPOL Annex V exceptions).  

MARPOL Annex V requires that if an exceptional discharge or accidental loss occurs, the entry into the Garbage Record Book include: 

  • the date and time of occurrence;
  • the port or position of the ship at the time of occurrence including latitude, longitude and water depth if known; 
  • the categories of garbage discharged or lost, and the estimated amount for each category in cubic metres; and 
  • the reason for discharge or loss, the details of the items discharges or lost, reasonable precautions taken to prevent or minimise such discharge or accidental loss.

If such a discharge occurs on any ship less than 400 gross tonnage, an entry is to be made in the ship’s official log-book with the above details.

Part II

Part II - for all cargo residues as defined in regulation 1.2 of MARPOL Annex V, will record discharges under regulations 4 (Discharge of garbage outside special areas) and 6 (Discharge of garbage within special areas).  

The following categories of garbage discharge will need to be recorded under Part II: 

  1. Cargo residues (non-Harmful to the Marine Environment)
  2. Cargo residues (Harmful to the Marine Environment). 

 Information to be recorded in Part II includes:

  • the date and time of the discharge;
  • the position of the ship or name of the port if disposed ashore;
  • the category of discharge;
  • the estimated amount discharged into the sea, a reception facility or to another ship; and 
  • the start and stop positions of the ship for discharges into the sea.

Penalties

There are substantial penalties for MARPOL breaches in the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983, including the power to detain vessels. A detention requires the owner to post an undertaking of considerable financial security.

Further information

An example of the new categories under the format of Garbage Record Book and the Record of Garbage Discharges can be found on the AMSA website. 

Download MARPOL Annex V garbage record book—marine notice 3/2017 (PDF 81 KB)

Gary Prosser  
Deputy Chief Executive Officer  
Australian Maritime Safety Authority 
February 2017 

GPO Box 2181  
CANBERRA ACT 2601 

File No: 2016/79

1. In particular the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 and Marine Order 95 (Marine pollution prevention – garbage) 

Last updated: 

Monday 12 August 2019