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Coast Guard limits the use of open loop scrubbers

Since the system of discharging washing waters of scrubbers is being studied by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in order to get information about their effects on the environment and avoid an irreversible damage on the marine ecosystem, the Directorate for Environmental Protection of the Argentine Coast Guard, by Provision DISFC-2020-15-APN-DPMA#PNA, forbids the unloading of washing waters of scrubbers from national vessels or those of foreign registers to waters of national jurisdiction -maritime and river- (Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Law N° 23968.)

The aforementioned sections of Law N° 23968 include inland waters, Argentine territorial sea, Argentine contiguous sea and Argentine exclusive economic area.

The protection of the marine environment is imperative regarding the possible discharges of polluting substances from the use of new technologies that have not been regulated yet in accordance with the “environmental precautionary principle” of the national law.

Nevertheless, after being consulted, the Directorate for Environmental Protection confirmed that it is permitted the use of Closed Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems, which allows the accumulation of waste in enabled tanks on board without discharging it. In case it shall be necessary to unload them, the procedure shall be done in port through authorized companies with final disposal requirement.

This provision came into force on August 10th, 2020.