Waste reception facilities in Australian ports

Australia provides environmentally responsible port waste reception facilities for you to dispose your vessel-generated waste.

The use of port waste reception facilities for ship-generated waste is vital to preventing marine pollution.

As a Party to the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), Australia must ensure that adequate reception facilities are available in all ports, marinas and terminals. Facilities must be available for all waste streams generated on board a vessel during normal operations as a result of compliance with MARPOL, including:

  • Oil, oily waste, oily mixtures, oily bilge water, slops, sludge, oily tank washings, oily cargo residues, ballast water containing oily mixtures;
  • cargo hold washings containing residues of noxious liquid substances carried in bulk;
  • sewage;
  • garbage, including plastics, food waste, dry/bulk cargo residues and cargo-associated waste (such as dunnage and packaging); and
  • ozone depleting substances and exhaust gas cleaning residues.

All vessels must comply with MARPOL requirements regarding the management  of wastes. This includes disposal of wastes using port reception facilities.

Arranging for waste reception

Arrangements for the use of waste reception facilities in Australia should be made through the vessel's agent, the port authority or marina. Charges may apply to use facilities.

Find information about available waste reception facilities in Australian ports in the Port Reception Facilities module of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Global integrated shipping information system (GISIS). You will need a public login to access the IMO website.

We encourage agents, port authorities and waste service providers to send us any corrections or updates to the information in GISIS. If you have corrections or updates, contact us.

Vessels’ crews and agents are encouraged to make waste reception arrangements as far in advance as possible. A standard format for the advanced notification of waste delivery to port reception facilities is available in the IMO’s Consolidated Guidance for port reception facility providers and users (IMO Guidance).

Following use of waste reception facilities, the vessel should receive a waste delivery receipt. Crews and agents should encourage waste reception facility service providers to use the standard receipt format available in the IMO Guidance.

These receipts should be kept with the relevant waste record book. For example, receipts for the disposal of garbage should be kept with the vessel’s Garbage Record Book.

Inspectors may ask to view these receipts to confirm that a ship is complying with MARPOL requirements for the disposal of wastes.

Inadequate facilities

If waste reception facilities are found to be inadequate (for example, facilities are not available; access is exceedingly difficult, resulting in undue delay, or have unreasonable charges,  the master should make a report to the vessel's flag state. If possible, you should also make a report to the authorities of the port state. Reports of inadequate waste reception facilities should be made in the format provided in the IMO Guidance. 

We will consider and investigate reports of alleged inadequate facilities in Australian ports and inform the reporting flag state and the IMO of the outcome of the investigation.

Cases of alleged inadequacies reported to the IMO and a summary of the port state’s investigation are available in the port reception facilities module of GISIS.

Further information on waste reception facilities

The IMO has published the following manual and guidelines relating to port reception facilities:

  • Port Reception Facilities – How to do it (2016);
  • Guidelines for ensuring the adequacy of port waste reception facilities (resolution MEPC.83(44)); and
  • Consolidated guidance for port reception facility providers and users (MEPC.1/Circ.834/Rev.1)

We encourage shipping companies to include the information on this webpage in the procedures to be followed by ships’ Masters for shipboard operations as required under Section 7 of the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).

Other relevant requirements


Biosecurity requirements are strictly enforced in Australia.

See Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) for Australia’s biosecurity requirements and laws.

Biosecurity procedures and practices in Australia treat all types of garbage coming from international ships as a high biosecurity risk which does not support dispoal through regular domestic recycling streams.

This represents a significant opportunity lost for recycling and sustainability. As a result, AMSA is working with DAFF to conduct a maritime recycling risk assessment trial.  

Maritime recycling risk assessment trial

The maritime recycling risk assessment trial aims to pave the way for a national recycling policy framework to allow international ships to recycle garbage in Australian ports.

Learn more about the trial and how to participate.

Ozone depleting substances

The disposal of ozone depleting substances is regulated in Australia by the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

See Department of the Environment and Energy for details.

Last updated: 16 May 2024