Home | Pilot Project | A Better Ship Waste Handling in Vietnamese Ports
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Oils, plastic packaging, sewage and hazardous materials – ships produce and transport a lot of waste. If ship after ship dumps their waste into the water, the consequences for animals, plants and humans are catastrophic. Thus, an efficient and reliable waste management system must be in place on land and crews need to know what to do with their waste. 

Improving Ship Waste Management in Vietnamese sea ports: The following video has been produced by the EU-German Government funded ‘Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project in close cooperation with Vinamarine, Hanoi, The Port Authority HCMC and Cat Lai Terminal, New Saigon Port. It highlights the results of the Vietnamese pilot project on improving Ship Waste Management to reduce illegal discharges from ships into the sea and how this will benefit port stakeholders, for examplethrough online waste notification and incentivizing cost recovery systems. The pilot project, conducted between 2020-2022builds on “best practices” from EU ports and the conclusions from the EU Directive 2000/59.

This pilot project supported the Cat Lai Port to implement an efficient ship waste management system. A thorough assessment of the waste-related regulations and operations at the port revealed a series of challenges that prevented ships from disposing of their waste onshore. Challenges ranged from a lack of economic incentives to inconsistent notifications and insufficient clarity of responsibilities and monitoring. We introduced standards and best practices from ports around the world, particularly from those in Europe. This improved the ship waste management at Cat Lai Port enormously, and these improvements are ready to be replicated in other Vietnamese ports.


  1. Ship Waste Management Manual

    A Ship Waste Management Manual describes all waste-related processes at seaports – from responsibilities and contact points to obligations and controls. This ensures transparency of the waste management processes and also creates an understanding between partners and customers. At the Cat Lai Port, the existing manual was analysed and adapted according to new processes and regulations. It will be regularly updated in the future. 

  2. Digital ship waste notification and monitoring system

    Together with our partner, Vinamarine, we have created digital procedures for ship waste notifications and approvals by the port authority. Using transparent online tools, ships contact the port before their arrival to announce the type and the amount of waste they would like to dispose of. The port authorities can then acknowledge and prepare for the expected waste. This brings clarity, and saves time and money for everyone involved. The information is gathered in a database and used to enhance the efficiency of public waste management.

    “The online waste notification system is now implemented. With these improvements, the ports can provide efficient waste handling services to ships in the future and ease the administrative procedures for shipping agents. It is an important step towards more sustainability and contributes to reducing marine litter. We will participate in replicating the results of the pilot project to other ports nationwide.”

     Mr. Nguyen HOANG, Deputy Administrator General Director of Vinamarine

  3. Cost Recovery System

    A Cost Recovery System was developed and validated by Vinamarine and the Ministry of Trade. Within this, all ships pay an indirect fee for waste delivery, regardless of what they bring onshore. This fee provides an incentive to the ships to actually use the waste management services in place instead of dumping waste in the water. Additionally, the administration of waste becomes easier for ports and shipping. While the recommendations were finalised, this system is still to be implemented.

     “It is vital that the waste collected from ships is managed properly on land. All steps from the collection to treatment and final disposal have to be addressed efficiently. In Europe for example, the introduction of full or in-part indirect waste fees contributed to increasing the delivery of waste to EU port reception facilities. A more widespread introduction of indirect fees will without doubt also have a significant positive environmental impact in South East Asia. We have had valuable discussions over the past two years. The results can now be disseminated to other ports in Vietnam and also contribute to strengthening regional cooperation on ship waste management.”

     Mr. Jens Peter OEHLENSCHLAEGER, Key expert on Ship Waste Management of the “Rethinking Plastics” project


Implemented by: Expertise France in cooperation with VINAMARINE


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