Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Garbage management plans

Have a plan

It is mandatory to carry a garbage management plan on certain vessels or platforms.

Mandatory requirements for garbage management plans

On 1 January 2013, mandatory international regulations under Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) took effect, requiring vessels and fixed or floating platforms to carry a Garbage Management Plan.
Garbage Management Plans are mandatory for:

  • ships of 100 gross tonnage and above
  • ships certified to carry 15 or more people
  • fixed or floating platforms.

Garbage management plans must include written procedures for minimising, collecting, storing, processing and disposing of garbage.

Does your plan need to be approved or certified?

Your plan does not need to be approved or certified, however, Australian legislation requires you to have a plan on board. Your plan needs to be prepared in accordance with the IMO guidelines for the development of a Garbage Management Plan.

Will I be subject to inspection to ensure there is a Garbage Management Plan on board?

Yes, your vessel or fixed or floating platform may be subject to inspection by State/NT or Commonwealth officials to ensure a Garbage Management Plan is on board..

What needs to be included in the Garbage Management Plan?

Your Garbage Management Plan needs to include the following sections:

  • designated person or persons in charge of carrying out the plan
  • procedures for collecting garbage
  • procedures for processing garbage
  • procedures for storing garbage
  • procedures for disposing of garbage.

The information and detail in each section will vary based on the size of the vessel/ platform and/or the number of persons on board. However, all Garbage Management Plans should include the above five sections.

What other issues should be considered?

When developing a Garbage Management Plan, consider:

  • reducing generated garbage
  • reuse and recycling
  • onboard processing
  • use of shore based facilities for disposal.

Domestic garbage can be minimised through provisioning practices. For example:

  • While bulk-packaged consumable items may create less garbage, inadequate shelf-life once a container is open should be considered to avoid increasing garbage.
  • Reusable packaging and containers can decrease garbage. When possible, use washable items such as crockery, and avoid disposable cups, utensils, plates, towels and rags and other convenience items.

Where practical, using supplies that come in reusable or recyclable packaging should be considered.

Further information

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