Marpol Annex III -Harmful Substances carried at Sea in Packaged Form Annex III Marpol 73/78 (Harmful Substances carried at Sea in Packaged Form : This Annex came into force internationally on 1st July 1992. It contains regulations which include requirements on packaging, marking, labelling, documentation, stowage and quantity limitations. It aims to prevent or minimise pollution of the marine environment by harmful substances in packaged forms or in freight containers, portable tanks or road and rail tank wagons, or other forms of containment specified in the schedule for harmful substances in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code There may be following sources of pollution (on container ships): A) Pollution from hold bilges (contaminated with cargo / oil seepage) b) Pollution from loss overboard of harmful packaged goods (Marine Pollutant as in IMDG Code) Handling Cargo Hold Bilges on Container vessels Hold bilges must be sounded at least once daily and also checked for content on the sounding rod (this will indicate if any oil or cargo effluent exists, mingled with water). They must be pumped out, when well within the bilge well depth. If vessel is in port, bilges should be transferred to the bilge holding tank (where fitted), but if reached tank top level (due rain), then pumping out must only be done after visual check inside hold for uncontaminated of water. Handling Bilges from other spaces (but, non E/R) Bilges need to be occasionally pumped from other spaces like Bow thruster room, Bosun store, Void spaces, Cofferdams, Steering flat, Under Deck Passages, etc. In all such cases, they must be only pumped out at sea after confirmation of contents. Handling of Harmful Packaged goods If any Marine Pollutant (as per IMDG) leaks from a container into the hold bilges or on deck, it must be collected taking due precautions, as per EMS and disposed off ashore. Accidental loss overboard of containers must be notified to shore authorities, also mentioning the nature of contents esp. if they are a Marine Pollutant. Handling Chemicals and Hazardous waste) Note : Residues of chemicals, paint and other items used on board for operational purposes, must be disposed off ashore and recorded in Garbage Record Book. Disposable cargo Crew members should remember that cargo hold wash water from holds containing Harmful to the Marine Environment (HME) cargoes can only be discharged provided that the master determines that there are no adequate reception facilities at the receiving terminal and the ship is en route and as far as practicable from the nearest land, but not less than 12 nautical miles. Before washing, dry cargo residue should be removed (and bagged for discharge ashore) as far as practicable and holds are swept and the volume of wash water used should be kept to a minimum. Moreover, filters should be used in the bilge wells in order to collect any remaining solid particles and minimise solid residue discharge. Lastly, the discharge should be recorded in the Garbage Record Book and the Flag State is notified utilising the Revised Consolidated Format for Reporting Alleged Inadequacies of Port Reception Facilities.