India bans single-use plastics on ships calling Indian ports

24 October 2019

Government issues order as part of effort to combat marine littering

The Indian Directorate General of Shipping (DGS), Ministry of Shipping India has issued DGS Order No. 05 of 2019 imposing a ban on single use plastics on Indian flagged ships and foreign flagged ships that call to any port or place in India and during their passage through India’s territorial sea.

  • Phase 1: The following single-use plastic items are prohibited with immediate effect:
    • Cutlery, plates and cups;
    • Up to 10 litres bottles for water and other drinks;
    • Garbage and shopping bags; and
    • Dispensing containers for cleaning fluids which are less than 10 litres.
  • Phase 2: The following single-use plastic items are prohibited as of 1 January 2020:
    • Bags, trays, containers, food packaging film;
    • Milk bottles, freezer bags, shampoo bottles, ice cream containers;
    • Bottles for water and other drinks, dispensing containers for cleaning fluids, biscuit trays;
    • Hot drink cups, insulated food packaging, protective packaging for fragile items; and
    • Microwave dishes, ice cream tubs, potato chip bags, bottle caps.


Single-use plastic items must be securely stored prior to entering Indian territorial waters. A foreign ship intending to enter an Indian port is required to make a log entry identifying the single use plastic items that are on board the ship, the location where stored, the time, latitude and longitude when these items were stored. Port State Inspectors will board foreign flag ships to ensure that single use plastics are not in use and are kept locked in a store during the ships stay in Indian ports and during the ships passage through the territorial waters of India.

No single use plastic items are to be discharged to port reception facility at an Indian port. This will be verified during Port State inspections.

No detention of foreign ships to is to be enforced. In case it is found necessary, after uploading all other deficiencies on Indian Ocean Port State Control (PSC) Memorandum of Understanding, Computer Information System website, a handwritten deficiency in the printed PSC Form ‘B’ (to be rectified prior departure) may be issued.

Please contact our Operations department for more information.