Cruise Ports Waste Reception Facilities: Ownership and Fee Schemes

In the second major cruise market of the world, the Mediterranean Sea, the available waste reception facilities in port are under different proprietary status. Private ownership being dominant, yet the degree that this happens per type of facility differs. In the case of recycling plants, over half of the available facilities are privately owned. This percentage lowers to one-third in the case of incineration and biological plants and storage areas and one quarter in the case of the energy recovery plants. The public proprietary status is comparatively high in storage areas, while public-private partnerships are on the rise in all types of waste reception facilities.

The fee selection schemes aim to enable ports to establish cost recovery systems to encourage the delivery of waste on land and discourage dumping at sea. The most commonly applied fee selection scheme is collecting indirect fees irrespectively of the actual use of the facilities. The direct fee selection scheme is applied at almost one-quarter of the ports, while the remaining apply a combination of direct and indirect fee schemes. Given the remarkable variance of the fee payment methods, it is worth focusing on the main principles of the fee selection schemes applied at five major ports from different countries:

  • Barcelona (Spain). The major European cruise port applies a fixed waste tax per call. A private company provides the service requested by ships, and the Port Authority is responsible for the payment of the services offered.
  • Dubrovnik (Croatia). The ships are charged different fees based on the type of waste. The disposal of solid waste has an obligatory fee based on the ship gross tonnage. Ships that are less than 500 grt pay a fixed fee, and those over 500 grt pay a fee based on the quantity of the disposed waste. Other wastes received are fluid wastes and oil waste, with a charging per quantity for both disposals.
  • Kusadasi (Turkey). All cruise ship vessels are subject to a compulsory contribution fee that is designated according to the gross tonnage of the vessel. This compulsory contribution fee allows each vessel to deliver a certain amount of waste (m3) without any charge while it is charged for any additional m3 of garbage.
  • Piraeus (Greece). Two categories of waste fees apply to cruise ships calling. The first one is a contributory fee that covers the delivery, treatment, and final disposal of a maximum permitted quantity of waste per ship call. This fee applies to cruise ships whose deployment includes frequent and regular calls at the port of Piraeus, i.e., those realizing a minimum of three calls per month. The second type of fee is a fixed fee per call. This applies to cruise ships without scheduled itineraries and is structured to cover food waste and domestic waste only. For the operational waste and the excessive quantities of domestic waste that are not covered by the contributory fee, the additional applicable charge depends on the waste quantity.
  • Venice (Italy). The fee selection scheme is based on the division of the respective fees into two different types of rates. The first type is a fixed rate that covers the costs necessary to carry out the collection and disposal service by ensuring at least 35% of the fixed costs. The current legislation requires the payment of this fee even from vessels that do not discharge waste at the Port of Venice. The second one is a variable rate that covers costs directly related to the actual delivery of wastes based on tonnage. This variable rate is also subdivided into an hourly rate, a fee per cubic meter, and a fee for the service provided.