For all foreign-going vessels, an incinerator installed onboard the ship on or after 1 January 2000 must comply with requirements of the standard specifications for shipboard incinerators developed under resolutions MEPC.76(40) , MEPC.93(45) and IMO MEPC 244(66), to incinerate sludge and combustible solid waste.


Marpol 73/78 Annex V restricts the solid waste materials that can be released into the ocean, while Annex I strictly forbids any discharge of oily waste into the sea.


According to Annex VI of MARPOL 1973/78 Convention of IMO for prevention of air pollution from ships, the guidelines regarding the waste material storage and disposal of waste at sea need to be strictly followed.


It is important to acknowledge that specific requirements may vary between different regional governments. Some examples of restrictions include:

– The Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992 mandates that parties must prohibit the incineration of ship-generated waste on board ships within their territorial seas.

– The California Environmental Protection Agency forbids onboard incineration between the California coast and the Three Nautical Mile Line, as indicated on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Nautical Charts.

– According to Regulation 16 of MARPOL Annex VI, shipboard incineration of sewage sludge and sludge oil produced during normal ship operations may occur in the main or auxiliary power plant or boilers, but it is not allowed in ports, harbours, and estuaries.


Incinerator on ship


The following materials are not to be incinerated:

  1. Annex I, II, and III cargo residues of the present Convention and related contaminated packing materials;
  2. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  3. Garbage, as defined in Annex V of the present Convention, containing more than traces of heavy metals; and refined petroleum products containing halogen compounds
  4. Incineration of sewage sludge and sludge oil generated during the normal operation of a ship may also take place in the main or auxiliary power plant or boilers, but in those cases, shall not take place inside ports, harbours, and estuaries
The temperature of the flue gases must be monitored and should not be less than 850 deg C for continuous feed and reach 600 deg C within 5 minutes ( time may vary depending upon the capacity of the incinerator) for a batch feed.

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