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In this context mention should be made of Directive 86/278/EEC on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture.73 As the title indicates, it aims to regulate the use of sewage sludge in agriculture in such a way as to prevent harmful effects on soil, vegetation, animals, and man, thereby encouraging the correct use of such sewage sludge. Among other things, it requires sludge to be used in such a way that account is taken of the nutrient needs of the plants and that the quality of the soil and of the surface and ground water is not impaired. It also sets out limit values for concentrations of heavy metals in soil to which sludge is applied, concentrations of heavy metals in sludge, and the maximum annual quantities of such heavy metals which may be introduced into soil intended for agriculture.

Ship-generated waste and cargo residues

Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo was adopted in 2000 to reduce the discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues into the sea, especially illegal discharges, from ships using ports in the EU, by improving the availability and use of port reception facilities74 (Art 1). It applies to all ships, including fishing vessels and recreational craft, irrespective of their flag, calling at, or operating within, a port of a Member State. Ships used only on government non-commercial services are excluded.

For each port normally visited by ships covered by the Directive, the Member States shall ensure the availability of port reception facilities. These shall be adequate to meet the needs of the ships normally using the port without causing undue delay to ships. For each port an appropriate waste reception and handling plan must be developed and implemented following consultations with the relevant parties. (Arts 4 and 5.)

With some exceptions, the master of a ship calling at an EU port shall, before leaving the port, deliver all ship-generated waste to a port reception facility. The costs of such facilities, including the treatment and disposal of the waste, shall be covered through the collection of a fee from ships. The cost recovery systems must not provide any incentive for ships to discharge their waste into the sea. Specific provisions apply to cargo residues. (Arts 7, 8, and 10.) [1]

74 [2000] OJ L 332/81.

Member States must ensure that any ship may be subject to an inspection in order to verify that it complies with the requirement to deliver ship-generated waste and cargo residues and that a sufficient number of such inspections is carried out (Art 11).

  • [1] 2 See Council Directive 78/176/EEC on waste from the titanium dioxide industry [1978] OJ L 54/19. 73 [1986] OJ L 181/6.
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