Belgium is a member of the European Union, Directive(EU) 2016/802 therefore applies and a maximum of 0.10% sulphur fuel is to be used in port. Belgian coastal waters are in the North Sea Emission Control Area as defined under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 and therefore the limit of 0.10% sulphur fuel also applies to vessels outside of ports when in open seas.
EGCSA has confirmed the following with the Policy unit for Environmental and Safety Issues in Belgium’s Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport:
- Under current national legislation, the discharge of scrubber wash water is permitted in coastal and open seas from the baseline (where the baseline is defined as the mean low-low watermark), provided that the discharges comply with IMO Guidelines.
- The legal reference for coastal and seawaters is: Wet van 6 april 1995 betreffende de voorkoming van verontreiniging door schepen (omzetting MARPOL). [Law of 6 April 1995 on the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL transposition)].
- No additional notices have been published.
- The discharge of scrubber wash water is not permitted in Belgian ports or inland waters.
- The legal reference for ports and inland waters is: Wet van 26 maart 1971 op de bescherming van oppervlaktewateren tegen verontreiniging (omzetting kaderrichtlijn water in Vlaanderen). [Law of 26 March 1971 on the protection of surface waters against pollution (transposition of the Water Framework Directive in Flanders)].
It should be noted that although the river Schelde enters the North Sea in Dutch waters, the Netherlands – Belgium border crosses the river inland. As such vessels sailing to/from Antwerp are prohibited from discharging scrubber wash water overboard while on the Belgian side of the border.