PPA seeks revised port reception facility guidelines

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Ozamiz baseport. Photo from Philippine Ports Authority.
  • The Philippine Ports Authority is proposing revised guidelines on the provision of port reception facility (PRF)
  • It is also eyeing revisions on the accreditation and issuance of permit to operate to PRF/waste disposal service providers
  • The PRF revised rules aim to streamline standards for providing PRF for prescribed wastes

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is proposing revised guidelines on the provision of port reception facility (PRF) as well as for the accreditation and issuance of permit to operate (PTO) to PRF/waste disposal service providers.

The PRF revised rules aim to streamline standards for providing PRF for prescribed wastes. It will repeal inconsistent orders, including PPA Administrative Order No. 02-2003, which provides implementing guidelines on International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) requirements for shore reception facilities.

The revised guidelines will apply to all ships calling at government and private ports under PPA jurisdiction, except warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by the Philippines and other flag states used for the time being only on government non-commercial service subject to exemptions.

One of the proposed policy’s objectives is to comply with requirements of MARPOL 73/78, and other relevant international conventions and national waste-related regulations pertaining to PRF.

PPA Port Services and Operations Department manager Ma. Asuncion Hiyasmin delos Santos, during the agency’s public consultation on the two proposed policies, said the Philippines in October 2023 will be subject to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), whose key performance indicators include the provision on PRF services.

“This is the reason why there is a need really for the Philippines, through the port authority, to regulate and to be the central authority in so far as the provision of PRF services in ports under its jurisdiction,” Delos Santos said.

IMSAS is a mandatory audit under the IMO Instruments of Implementation Code conducted to determine how extensively a country implements and enforces its functions under maritime instruments as a flag, port, and coastal state.

Delos Santos clarified that PPA is now using the term PRF instead of shore reception facility, the two being the same, except PRF is more commonly used.

PRF under the draft revised guidelines refers to a system used to receive prescribed wastes but not limited to the following:

  • Fixed piping that conveys residues, mixtures, ballast water, sewage or other related ship-generated wastes to a storage or treatment system
  • Tank barges, railroad cars, tank trunks, or other mobile facilities
  • Containers or other receptacles that are used as temporary storage for ship-generated waste
  • Any combination of fixed and mobile facility

Prescribed wastes refer to ship-generated wastes, ballast water and its sediments and wastes from application of removal of anti-fouling systems.

Under the proposed guidelines, there should be adequate PRF in all PPA ports available on a 24-hour, seven days a week basis.

The rendition of PRF services should be made without causing undue delay to ships, and to the needs of the ship using PRF.

It will remain compulsory for ships to dispose of their prescribed wastes to PRFs provided by PPA or through PRF providers before leaving the port/terminal.

Ships will be required to access the PPA’s Internet-based Port Operations Receipting for Terminals System (iPorts) and give details of required data, including those on ship-generated waste onboard.

Ships must also pay corresponding prescribed waste reception fees based on the type of waste and ship gross tonnage. A fixed fee will be imposed on every ship, including vessels with zero waste disposal.

The schedule of waste reception fees are prescribed in PPA AO 08-2018 (interim guidelines on the issuance of PTO for shore reception facilities waste disposal service provider) and its subsequent amendments.

Ships that have submitted waste declarations with incomplete, inadequate, or inaccurate data and failed to meet the advance notification requirements may be denied entry or refused allocation of berth.

Ships engaging the services of a PRF provider not authorized by PPA or failing to dispose of prescribed wastes when necessary, or refusing to pay corresponding prescribed waste reception fees, may also be denied issuance of departure clearance.

Ships that fail to comply with existing environmental protection and regulations will be subject to penalties under Section 43 of Presidential Decree No. 857 (Revised charter of PPA), as amended by Executive Order No. 513, and under any other applicable laws.

Meanwhile, the proposed guidelines for accreditation and issuance of PTO, when approved, will be the standard rules. Under AO 08-2018, only interim guidelines were approved.

The proposed guidelines will apply to port service providers securing PTO for the provision of PRF services in government and private ports, including harbors/fairways and extensions under the jurisdiction of the PPA.

Under the proposal, each PPA port management office (PMO) should still facilitate the processing and issuance of PTO to a provider who meets the qualifications to operate reception facilities and undertake the regular collection, treatment, and disposal of waste/refuse from vessels calling at each port.

Only providers with PTO issued by PPA will be authorized to perform PRF services in each port.

The scope of work and services should cover establishing and operating sustainable reception and treatment facilities for prescribed wastes covered by MARPOL.

The PRF provider must have a valid accreditation issued by PPA as a PRF provider, except if the PRF provider is the existing terminal operator or cargo-handling operator, in the case of PPA accreditation as such will be sufficient.

Providers with a PTO issued under AO 09-2020 (revised guidelines on the issuance of PTO for the provision of ancillary service in the ports) will have to comply with the proposed guidelines upon expiration of their PTO under AO 09-2020.

The PTO will be valid for three years from the date of issuance. It will be subject to annual review by PPA to ensure the PRF provider’s strict adherence to the terms and conditions stipulated in the permit.

The terminal operators and/or cargo-handling operators can still nominate one or more PRF providers as long as they are duly accredited by PPA and subject to compliance with the requirements for PTO issuance.

The PRF provider endorsed by the terminal/cargo-handling provider will not be allowed to subcontract any of the services required to be rendered under their issued PTO.

Registered private ports will still be primarily responsible for providing PRF service whether on their own or by contracting a qualified third-party provider.

For anchorage operations, the PRF provider will be the terminal operator or duly authorized cargo-handling operator of the government port who handles cargoes of the vessel and registered private port operator or its nominated PRF provider and a holder of a valid PTO issued by the PMO concerned.

AO 08-2021 provides the new prescribed waste reception fee in all PPA ports.

For services rendered in registered private ports, the parties may agree on applicable rates, provided those rates are submitted to PPA for approval before adoption.

Any violation of the terms and conditions stated in the issued PTO will be subject to the following proposed penalties:

  • First violation – a stern warning
  • Second violation – P50,000 plus suspension of the PTO for one year
  • Third violation – cancellation/revocation of the PTO

A PTO may also be revoked or cancelled any time for violating provisions of PD 857 and the requirements under the PTO, for engaging in activities other than those authorized by PPA, and for failure to pay the required fees/government shares for more than three months, among other reasons. – Roumina Pablo

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