BIMCO publishes list of options for discharging scrubber wash water


BIMCO issues a list of scrubber regulation related to the discharge of the wash water

As 1 January 2020 approaches, questions are many for shipowners and operators who have chosen to install scrubbers. One of them is where the ship is allowed to discharge scrubber wash water. Below, BIMCO has published a list of Regions & Countries that have so far taken a stance and implemented regulation regarding the discharge of wash water effluent from exhaust gas cleaning systems.

Listed are those, whom have additional or different regulations from the IMO MEPC.259(68). The discharge of EGCS effluent will – if not prohibited - only be possible within the limits of the respective regulation.

Please be aware that various states, as well as singular ports around the world, that have not currently implemented regulation on the discharge of scrubber wash water, are holding discussions and might also come to the conclusion that they will prohibit the discharge of effluent or set their own respective limits before or after 1 January 2020.

The existing regulations differ in the value limits, the means of measuring and the form of registration ships with operational EGCS’s will have to undertake once in these waters.

Should you be aware of any other development, please do not hesitate to contact us (, so we can share this information with all our members as the discussion is ongoing in many regulatory bodies and changes might occur on a regular basis.

List of Regions with regulation regarding the discharge of wash water effluent from Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (Scrubbers) 

  Region Discharge? Comments  Washwater effluent regulation
IMO  Global Yes Discharge possible IMO EGCS Guidelines (resolution MEPC.259(68))
EU EU Yes Discharge possible Sulphur Directive (SD)1999/32/EC;  Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC & EU Directive 2016/802/EC (all in add. to IMO)
No Discharge of washwater effluent prohibited in inland waters, rivers, certain ports aswell as Kiel Canal § 13 Abs. 7 SeeUmweltverhaltensverordnung (SeeUmwVerhV)
No Discharge of washwater effluent prohibited within 3 nm of coast Wet van 26 maart 1971 op de bescherming van de oppervlaktewateren tegen verontreiniging (Vlaams Gewest), as amended
No Discharge of washwater effluent "should" be prohibited in territorial waters and ports General authority position for now
No Discharge of washwater effluent prohibited in port water area Port Rules and Conditions of Use approved by the Ministry of Transport and Communication
US US  Yes Discharge possible, but slightly different Regulation than IMO 2.2.26 of the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP)
  Connecticut No Discharge of washwater effluent prohibited  6.5.9 of the 2013 VGP
  Hawaii Yes Discharge possible, but reporting has to be in line with 6.7.1 of the 2013 VGP 6.7.1 of the 2013 VGP
  California No Discharge prohibited, allowed with temporary research or experimental permit ONLY Ocean Going Vessel (OGV) Fuel Regulation
CN China Yes Yes The People’s Republic of China Air Pollution Prevention Law
HK HK Yes Exemption needed “Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation” Chapter 311AA, gazette Number E.R. 2 of 2015
AUS Australia Yes Yes EPA 2015/0695 (cruiseships have special reg.)


Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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