As another follow-up to the Standing Committee Meeting in Brussels by the initiative of the Aland delegation, the BSPC’s Observers at HELCOM, current Chairman Sylvia Bretschneider and Christina Gestrin, have addressed a letter to HELCOM concerning the implementation of the IMO Resolution MEPC.200 (62).
The resolution defines the Baltic Sea as a so-called Special Area with the aim to prevent the discharges of sewage from ships in the Baltic Sea. Christina Gestrin personally handed over the letter at the 36th HELCOM Commission Meeting in Helsinki, 3 – 4 March, and tabled it on the agenda of the meeting. Christina Gestrin strongly expressed that the parliamentarians from all the EU-Member States of the Baltic Sea share the opinion that the original dates for the prohibition of the discharge of sewage from passenger ships should be maintained. She declared: “We, the majority of the parliamentarians from around the Baltic Sea find it very disappointing that the states are not able to honour their commitments.”
Christina Gestrin also drew attention to the 23rd resolution of the BSPC, which asked the governments in the region to “proceed with strong efforts and dedicated resources for the continued improvement and modernization of the waste water treatment capacity throughout the entire Baltic Sea Region, in compliance with the stricter threshold values agreed by HELCOM, and to ensure continuous work to upgrade reception facilities for sewage in passenger ports in line with the Special Area Status of the Baltic Sea under MARPOL Annex IV of the International Maritime Organization.”
The content of the letter was also discussed between BSPC Chairman Sylvia Bretschneider and HELCOM Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz in the margins of the Pan-European Dialogue in Cruise Tourism, which took place in Brussels on 4-6 March.