Waste – Offshore Incineration

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Key Legislation:

For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:

Supporting Legislation:


Shipboard Incinerator Approval: Shipboard incinerators installed after 31 December 1999 or if solely in UK waters on or before 18 May 2005 must be approved in accordance with Merchant Shipping Notice 1734 (M+F) and an Approved Type Certificate issued.
Who to Apply to: MCA.
When to Apply: Prior to installation of incinerator.
Plastic products: Disposal into the sea of incinerator ashes from plastic products is prohibited as they may contain toxic or heavy metal residues.
Incinerator operators: A ship with a shipboard incinerator installed on it must at all times carry an operating manual of the manufacturer of that incinerator, which specifies how to operate the incinerator within the limits described in Schedule 5 to Merchant Shipping Notice 1819 (M+F).Every person responsible for the operation of a shipboard incinerator must be trained and capable of implementing the guidance provided in the manufacturer’s operating manual.Combustion flue gas outlet temperatures must be monitored at all times and the waste must not be fed into a continuous-feed shipboard incinerator when the temperature is below 850°C.

No batch-loaded shipboard incinerator is to be used if the temperature in the combustion chamber fails to reach 600°C within 5 minutes of start-up.

Limits on What may be Incinerated: Regulation 16 of Annex VI prohibits the incineration of:

  • MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, II and III cargo residues, including related contaminated packaging
  • PCBs
  • Garbage containing more than traces of heavy metals
  • Refined petroleum products containing halogen compounds
  • PVCs (except in approved incinerators)

The incineration of sewage sludge and sludge oil generated during normal shipboard operations is permitted outside harbour areas.

Monitoring Requirements: The combustion flue gas outlet temperature must be monitored at all times.
Non-compliance: N/A
Renewal of Permit: N/A
None at present.