Gard issues warning on scrubber ban proliferation

Gard P&I has published an eye-opening map (see below) of places around the world it believes have issues with scrubber technology and its effect on the discharge of washwater.

As well as the many nations highlighted by Splash in recent months, including China, Singapore, Belgium, some US states, the German Rhine and Dublin port, the update from the Norwegian insurer shows other nations are also putting in place legislation to handle the shipping technology designed to counter next year’s global sulphur cap. Moreover, Gard warns other countries are likely to follow suit soon.

In India, Gard noted a recent circular issued seems to indicate that scrubber washwater discharges are allowed if the criteria set out in MEPC.259(68) are met. However, this is qualified with a requirement that local regulations should also be followed. “As of now, it is not clear if local restrictions will be imposed in some areas,” Gard noted.

Elsewhere, in Abu Dhabi the authorities have mandated that scrubber washwater can be discharged in port waters if free form pollutants whilst scrubber sludge should be discharged from the vessel to an Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) licensed waste disposal contractor.

In the Baltic, Gard was able to give more details on Lithuania and Latvia’s stance on the controversial technology.

In Lithuania, authorities are currently studying the impact of scrubber washwater on the marine environment and will provide its conclusions upon completion of the study. Meanwhile, the current position seems to be that discharge is not allowed in port waters, Gard observed.

In Latvia, meanwhile, Gard pointed out that discharge is not allowed in territorial and port waters.

“Various other coastal states and ports are discussing enforcing similar bans citing the adverse effects of scrubber washwater on the marine environment. It is therefore likely that the above list of states/ports which currently regulate open loop scrubber discharges in their waters will grow over time,” Gard stated in its circular to clients.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. So, will these places with an open loop scrubber ban also ban exhaust gas IG plant that discharges its water directly overboard?

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