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Port of Rotterdam adopts Green Award verification for new EU shipping sustainability incentives

Port of Rotterdam.

Posted on February 26, 2024

The Port of Rotterdam cements its position as a leader in sustainable shipping by becoming the first EU port to utilise Green Award Foundation’s specialised Ship Waste module programme to verify ships meeting new environmental performance criteria enacted this year.

Recent EU regulations require member state ports to grant discounts on waste fees to ships that can demonstrate reduced waste volumes and sustainable management practices.

Drawing on over 30 years of experience auditing and incentivising responsible shipping, Green Award launched a tailored module aligned with EU sustainability benchmarks. Independent verification through Green Award allows ships meeting these exacting new voluntary standards to benefit from waste fee discounts up to 32% when calling at accredited ports.

To date, 38 ships have successfully completed evaluations by Green Award auditors and qualified for discounted waste fees at the Port of Rotterdam. The assessed vessels are currently all Green Award certified ships, but the Ship Waste module is also open to non-certified ships. With strict sustainability requirements now tied to financial benefits, Green Award verification provides a clear pathway for ships to maximise savings while accelerating the spread of environmentally sound waste management practices across the industry.

Other major European ports are currently working to integrate The Green Award’s verification services for determining ships that meet the EU waste discount criteria.

EU ship waste fee regulation context
New European Union (EU) regulations enacted by the European Parliament and EU Commission as “Directive (EU) 2019/883” have now entered into force. This requires all EU member state ports and municipalities that charge ships waste fees to implement a system of discounts or incentives tied to strict environmental sustainability criteria and third-party verification of performance. The aim is to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy model within the maritime shipping industry. Specifically, EU “Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/91”; sets outs the exact criteria ships must meet across waste streams and overall sustainable management practices to qualify for waste fee reductions under Directive 2019/883. Independent auditing bodies like Green Award

Foundation, with relevant expertise incentivising responsible shipping, provide verification services to ports for determining ships that achieve compliance.
The waste fee discounts start from 15% but can amount to 32% for ships scoring highest, creating financial incentives for operators to pursue sustainability certification and adopt best practices going beyond baseline regulatory requirements. While the regulations mandate discounts in principle, use of established voluntary incentive programs like Green Award for verification simplifies implementation for ports and ships compared to administrative reporting alternatives.


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