Environmental policy for ships

The following policies must be followed for ships in Bermuda’s territorial waters :

  • Use of any incinerator in Bermuda’s territorial waters is prohibited unless the owner is in possession of a valid operating licence issued by the Environmental Authority.

  • The maximum allowed sulphur content in fuel for Controlled Plants is 2.0%. For ships fitted with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) that have been approved to MEPC.184(59) then the concentration of sulphur emitted in the exhaust can only be equivalent to use with fuels at 1.5% sulphur under any load point. No ship systems shall use fuels with greater than 2% sulphur if not also fitted with an approved EGCS. Compliance of the exhaust shall be demonstrated, upon request by port state control, to be less than a nominal limit of 65 ppm/% SO2/CO2 (i.e. less than an equivalent of 1.5% Sulphur in fuel based on 6 g/KWh). The washwater and residue discharged from the EGCS shall be stored on board the ship until outside of Bermuda’s waters.
  • Opacity of exhaust emissions from controlled plants shall not exceed 5% except during periods of engine start-up and cool down. Smoke emitted from a ship shall not be offensive, that is, it shall not be in such quantity or contain such content of soot, smut, cinders or oil as to be offensive to persons or as to cause or be likely to cause damage or injury to buildings, furnishings, goods, or other articles (Section 18, Marine Board Act 1962 ).
  • The stack or exhaust outlet of controlled plants shall be situated so that the exhaust fumes do not foul the ventilation of buildings, including windows and air intake points or vents or adversely impact nearby residents.
  • Controlled plants shall be installed and maintained to produce the minimum amount of noise and vibration.
  • Controlled plants shall have a regular maintenance and testing schedule, and the maintenance and scheduling shall be logged and available for inspection.
  • Any aggregate piles or movement of aggregate shall be managed to minimise fugitive emissions and minimise sediment loading of storm-water runoff.
  • A ship shall not discharge any bilge water within Bermuda’s territorial waters except as provided under the provisions of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78) unless prior approval has been granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • A ship shall not discharge any ballast water within Bermuda’s territorial waters except to preserve the safety of the ship, environment, and life.
  • A ship shall not discharge liquid effluent, including raw sewage, grey water, swimming pool water, hot tub water, pulper wastes, photo-processing fluids, within Bermuda’s territorial waters. Liquid effluent may be discharged into appropriate shore reception facilities Treated effluent shall not be discharged into Bermuda’s territorial waters without the prior approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • The underwater hull of a ship shall not be cleaned in Bermuda’s territorial waters. Rinsing and cleaning of the hull above the water line may be undertaken using only fresh water or salt water. No cleaning agents may be used.
  • The underwater hull of a ship shall not be painted in Bermuda’s territorial waters. There shall be no chipping or scraping of painted or varnished surfaces on the exterior of any ship in Bermuda’s territorial waters unless it is on a commercial boat slip or unless the prior approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been obtained. Spot painting of the ship sides above the waterline is permitted providing paint is prevented from dripping into Bermuda’s waters.
  • Propellers shall not be polished in Bermuda’s territorial waters.
  • All ships shall complete a Waste Notification Form 24-hours prior to arrival in Bermuda. Approval of the Department of Public Works, Waste Management Section, shall be obtained prior to the discharge of waste. Wastes from a ship shall be separated into burnable material, recyclable material, hazardous, biomedical, bulky, and municipal wastes. Recyclable materials are aluminium, steel and glass food and beverage containers. Due to the risk of introducing pests and diseases in food wastes all food waste shall be disposed of at Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility. The ship shall be responsible for the haulage of wastes to the appropriate receiving facility (burnable materials besides HAZMAT and PVC shall be sent to Bermuda’s Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility).
  • No discharge of animal wastes, including bedding, manure, and carcasses, shall be undertaken without the prior approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • Hazardous and special wastes, including incinerator ash, oils, greases, batteries, fluorescent lamps, paints, mercury-containing items, flares, can be disposed of in Bermuda but please note that disposal of these wastes will be charged for costs incurred to repackage and ship back to the US.
  • Bulky wastes, including, anchors, ropes, indoor and outdoor furniture, mattresses, engine parts, masts, shall not be disposed of in Bermuda or its territorial waters.

For policies concerning fruits, vegetables, animals and plants on board ships in Bermuda or its territorial waters, please email animals@gov.bm.  For further information, please call the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at (441) 236-4201 or email pollutioncontrol@gov.bm