European port of Zeebrugge. File Image / Pixabay.
Discharge waters from exhaust gas cleaning systems, more commonly known as scrubbers, could be included in a tightening of maritime safety rules proposed by the European Commission.
The legislative proposals from the commission are designed to modernise European Union rules on mariitme safety and the prevention of water pollution from ships.
"They [the proposals] will align EU rules with international regulations, securing a level-playing field for the sector while improving implementation and enforcement through digitalisation and more EU cooperation," the commission said.
In addition to casting a wider net over what constitutes illegal discharges in the sea (including scrubber waste water and harmful substances in packaged form), the proposals point to an enhanced system of monitoring pollution via CleanSeaNet, a database of European Maritime Safety Agency.
A stronger legal framework to deliver penalties for pollution is also included in the proposals.
Following EU legislative procedure, the measures will be considered by the European Parliament and the European Council.