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Cruise Ship Environmental Compliance

There are almost 100 000 commercial vessels ranging from tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, barges, and passenger ships that transverse the oceans and other waters of the world, carrying cargo and passengers for commerce, transport, and recreation.

All of their activities are subject to international protocols and domestic laws, including those designed to protect against pollutants that could harm marine resources amongst others.

Cruise ships can be seen as cities on water. They produce several channels of waste, in large volumes. Some kinds of waste that can be expected are hazardous waste, solid waste, sewage, wastewater, oily bilge, ballast water, greywater, food waste, and air pollution.

Who regulates environmental pollution from ships?

The most common and widely known International law implemented is MARPOL (governed by the International Maritime Organization). Marpol has six annexures, each addressing a specific type of waste. Other international laws are also implemented, such as the Act to Prevent Pollution on Ships (applicable to all US-flagged ships and administered by the US Coast Guard). State/Port laws must also be considered, such as the Clean Water Act in the US, which aims to regulate water on cruise ships. Some state/port laws are stricter than others, depending on the environmental sensitivity of the area or port being visited, for example, Alaska or California.

What are the six annexures of MARPOL?

How can ARISCU help:

1. Marpol’s Oil Record Book is commonly used to record:

  • Ballasting or cleaning of oil fuel tanks;

  • Discharge of dirty ballast or cleaning water

  • Collection and disposal of oil residues

  • Discharge overboard or disposal of bilge water

  • Bunkering of fuel or bulk lubricating oil

  • Oily mixtures

  • Failure of equipment

2. Marpol’s Garbage Record Book is commonly used to record:

  • Plastics

  • Food wastes

  • Domestic wastes

  • Cooking oil

  • Incinerator ashes

  • Operational wastes

  • Animal carcass(es)

  • Fishing gear

  • E-waste

  • Cargo residues

3. ODS Record Books are used to record the management/discharge of ozone-depleting substances.

ARISCU can digitize the above via our Records Manager and/or Checklist Manager modules. Digital signatures, date/time stamps, and dropdown selections ensure the accuracy of data. Excel documents can be imported or added as external connectors.

This information can then be translated into interactive dashboards/reports representing trends/forecasts via our Insights module. A signal feature is also available to inform the relevant person when certain thresholds are reached.

4. Environmental Incidents / Reports:

Environmental incidents can be tracked and managed via our Incident Manager and Documents Manager modules. Relevant pictures/documents can be attached, corrective actions assigned and reviewed, and autogenerated reports made available to translate data into statistics.

5. Hazardous waste management:

Chemical locker inventory tasks, MSDS notifications, signatures and date stamps can be digitized and managed via our Records / Checklist / Task Manager modules to ensure smooth sailing with hazardous waste management workflows.

Common pain points experienced by most shipboard management are inaccuracy of data recorded, which is considered a finding during audits; incomplete reporting due to the comprehensiveness of standard operating procedures; and insufficient handovers due to high staff turnovers (as is common with shipboard personnel). Digitizing information and processes can eliminate these pain points. With all environmental information being made available via one platform, it will make handing over much smoother and faster, and external audits much easier to get through.


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