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Winter session 2023 of the Conference of the Contracting Parties

Strasbourg, 19.12.2023 – On 19 December 2023, the Conference of the Contracting Parties (CPC) addressed a number of issues relating to the collection, deposit and reception of inland navigation waste. The main conclusions included maintaining the cost of the disposal charge, a QR-code valid for 12 months (SPE-CDNI 3.0), progress on degassing and changes concerning the attestation of unloading.
The meeting took place at the Palais du Rhin in Strasbourg, and was chaired by Mr Ivo Ten Broeke, the head of the Dutch delegation to the CDNI (Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste produced during navigation on the Rhine and inland waterways).

Disposal charge maintained at €10/1,000 litres of gasoil

The CPC decided to maintain the disposal charge for oily and greasy waste at €10 per 1,000 litres of gas oil dispensed. This resolution is based on the IIPC report on the annual evaluation of the system for financing the reception and disposal of oily and greasy waste produced during the course of operating the vessel. However, in view of the current economic situation and its volatile nature, a consultation on this subject is planned for the next summer session.

SPE-CDNI 3.0: 12 months for the analogue QR code

The new SPE-CDNI 3.0 payment system has been in service since August 2023. It allows boatmasters to pay the disposal charge for oily and greasy waste produced during the course of operating the vessel, either with a smartphone (mobile application) or by means of a printed ECO-ID (QR code). Up until now, the analogue QR code was valid for six months, but this has now been extended to 12 months by the CPC. In order to do this, a new QR code has to be generated online. The validity of QR-codes already generated cannot be changed and remains at six months. In this way, the delegations wish to simplify the use of the new SPE-CDNI for navigation personnel.

Venting of gaseous residues: soon the beginning of the end

A major amendment to the Convention is in the process of being ratified: it aims to protect the environment by gradually banning the venting of vessels. Venting is the direct release into the atmosphere of vapours originating from the cargo tank. The new regulations provide for the necessary procedures provisions for degassing, i.e. the collection and treatment of gaseous residues from liquid cargoes.
At its meeting on 19 December, the CPC had the opportunity to review the progress of ratifications. To date, five of the six Contracting Parties have deposited the instrument of ratification: Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. Switzerland’s ratification procedure is underway and progressing well. The Council of States and the National Council have given their approval, and the information was published in the Federal Gazette on 9 January . A 100-day “optional referendum” is now required before the instrument of ratification can be deposited, i.e. until 18 April 2024. The amendment will enter into force on the first day of the sixth month following the deposit of the last instrument of ratification.
The delegations also discussed the future implementation of the venting ban. The new provisions of the CDNI provide for three phases, each with a greater number of vapours given off by goods covered by the ban. Under the Convention, phase II has been set at two years after phase I comes into force, and phase III at three years after phase I comes into force. A more in-depth examination of these phases and their introduction has been included in the CDNI’s work programme.
Finally, the CDNI Implementing Regulation has been amended to take account of the new provisions relating to degassing. The amendments define the conditions under which exclusive and compatible transport operations may relinquish degassing. They also specify the supporting documents to be provided and the items to be ticked/filled in on the attestation of unloading. These amendments come into force on 1 July 2024.

Changes concerning the attestation of unloading

At the CPC, the delegations decided to lighten the administrative burden for the profession with regard to the transport (even occasional) of containers, mobile cargo (ro-ro), break bulk and heavy cargo, and large equipment. As these items do not generate residues, there is no need to wash the holds – and therefore no need for an attestation of unloading. Another simplification adopted by the CPC is that the transport of sand and gravel from the mining location to the unloading site can now be considered as the exclusive transport of the same goods. These amendments to the Implementing Regulation come into force immediately.

In preparation: ban on discharging domestic waste water

Since 2005, the CDNI has banned the discharge of domestic waste water for vessels carrying more than 50 passengers (or berths). A discharge ban for vessels with more than 12 passengers (or berths) will come into force on 1 January 2025. To prepare for its practical application, the delegations examined the network of waste water reception facilities currently available and those needed in the future. There is still work to be done, but preparations for the extension of the ban are progressing.

Next meetings

Location: Strasbourg

  • CDNI Working Group (CDNI/G): 16-17 April 2024
  • International Clearance and Coordination Body (IIPC): 16 May 2024
  • Conference of the Contracting Parties (CPC): 27 June 2024


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