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Summer session 2020 of the Contracting Parties Conference

Press release

Strasbourg, 1.07.2020 – The Contracting Parties Conference (CPC) conducted its summer session on 1 July 2020 exceptionally by video conference owing to the Covid-19 health crisis. The session was chaired for the first time by Ms Muriel Bouldouyré, head of the French delegation; France is chairing the CPC in 2020 and 2021. This session was attended by the representatives of the six Contracting Parties, the representatives of the national institutions and a representative of the Danube Commission. The CPC dealt in particular with the following subjects: impact and consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, increase in the disposal charge to €8.50 and new provisions on degassing. The final part of the session was given over to European financing opportunities for the degassing of inland navigation vessels, with the extraordinary participation of a representative of the European Commission (DG ENVI).

Source: Secretariat of the CDNI


COVID-19 pandemic and waste collection and reception services

The Contracting Parties reported a return to normal for waste collection and reception services within the Convention’s jurisdiction. Owing to the crisis, certain services had had to be subjected to specific measures (introduction of a skeleton service, reduction in station opening times). However, notwithstanding the health constraints, the waste collection reception services successfully fulfilled their mission, enabling inland navigation to continue while complying with environmental obligations. The Danube Commission reported that services had also been successfully maintained on the Danube.

Part A: oily and greasy waste

Disposal charge: increase to €8.50 for 1000 litres on 1 January 2021

As previously announced last December, the disposal charge for oily and greasy waste will increase to €8.50 for 1000 litres of zero-rated bunkered gasoil with effect from 1 January 2021. The charge had remained unchanged since Part A of the Convention came into force in 2011 (€7.50 for 1000 litres). This amendment was actioned by the Contracting Parties by means of a resolution amending article 3.03 of the Implementing Regulation.
In 2019, the ICCB (International Clearance and Coordination Body) analysed disposal charges collected in recent years and the collection costs within the area managed by the CDNI. In the early years following the entry into force of the Convention, receipts exceeded costs. However, developments in recent years illustrate that the accumulated surplus has slowly but surely declined, risking a deficit from 2021 onward. Hence the ICCB’s advice in its 2019 annual report to increase the disposal charge.
The annual report of the ICCB on the annual assessment of the financing system is published on the CDNI website. The exhaustive report contains a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the factors behind the setting of the amount of the disposal charge with the aims of maintaining the equilibrium of the financing system.
The system for collecting and eliminating oily and greasy waste is based on the “polluter pays” principle implemented by means of an indirect finance mechanism at the time of bunkering and by access to reception stations throughout the CDNI’s jurisdiction.
Resolution CDNI 2020-I-2

Part B: cargo-related waste

New provisions for dealing with gaseous residues of liquid cargoes

The Kingdom of the Netherlands deposited the instrument of acceptance of the amendments on 3 July 2020 in Strasbourg. The instrument had been signed on 13 March by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs but could not be physically deposited with the depositary owing to the crisis (see the press release). The Kingdom of the Netherlands is the second Contracting Party to deposit the instrument after the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 7 February last.
Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland are continuing work on ratification at national level. Other ratifications are expected in 2020. The amendment to the Convention will come into force six months after the final instrument of ratification has been lodged with the depository authority, the Secretary-General of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR).
The CPC instructed the CDNI/G Working group to step up its monitoring of the various initiatives taken at national level and to compile a map of existing and future degassing stations. More comprehensive information can then be provided at the next CPC session in December.
A representative of the European Commission’s DG ENVI gave a presentation on European air quality policies as well as a round-up of European co-financing opportunities to encourage measures aiming to restrict or eliminate pollutant emissions. The CDNI’s inland navigation vessel degassing objectives are particularly aligned with the ambitions of the European Commission’s European Green Deal.
A joint workshop with DG ENVI could be organised in Brussels in autumn 2020 to make the players most concerned by the implementation of the new degassing provisions more aware of these opportunities and the possible setting up of projects, both in the research and development and infrastructure fields.
A dedicated webpage addressing the new provisions on degassing and their implementation, containing all the relevant information has been published recently: https://www.cdni-iwt.org/part-b-degassing/?lang=en
Resolution CDNI 2017-I-4

Part C: other waste

Extension of the scope of the ban on the discharging of passenger vessel domestic waste water

The draft resolution on the extension of the substantive scope of application of the ban on the discharge of domestic waste water to vessels with between 12 and 50 passengers has been put on the agenda of the next CPC in December for adoption. The draft resolution currently excludes vessels built before 30 December 2008, pending the investigation of the consequences of the transitional period for the obligation to have a collection tank or an on-board sewage treatment plant. The Dutch delegation is currently conducting a study to assess the impact of such a measure at European level both for on-board waste water collection and disposal facilities and for reception infrastructure ashore. The findings will be presented in 2020.

2020 meetings

The next meeting of the CPC will be on 15 December 2020.
The CDNI Working group will meet on 27 and 28 October and the ICCB will meet on 25 November.
All the dates for meetings, and their agendas, are available on the CDNI website’s dedicated page.

Press release