Frequently Asked Questions

Clean Harbours Guidelines history

Clean Habours Guidelines history

Significant impacts on the environment and the water quality from boating activity have been observed both in marinas and in their surroundings.

The amount of toxic waste resulting from marinas, sea and fishing ports is estimated to be around several thousand tons: batteries, accumulators and accumulating batteries, waste oil, acetic acids, plastic, resin, old paint cans, etc…

Pollution from effluents (careening wastewater, sewage, rainwater) being directly discharged into the port is perhaps less visible but equally harmful.

Faced with those findings, the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region, Rhône Mediterranean and Corsican Water Agency, ADEME (French environment and energy management agency), the State (DREAL) have agreed on a common approach aiming at supporting any operation with the intention of improving the port’s environmental quality.

The “Clean Harbours” approach was launched in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region in 2001. The operation was initiated in 2001 with a partnership agreement between the Languedoc-Roussillon Tourism Development joint commission and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Regional Council. An agreement of technical and financial partnership brought together the Sud Regional Council, Rhône Mediterranean and Corsican Water Agency, ADEME, DREAL and the Association of marinas in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region and Monaco.

From 2001 to 2007: 86 marinas in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur adhered to the “Clean Harbours” approach.

In 2006 the Union des Ports de Plaisance de Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur-and Monaco created a graphic charter for the signage of “Clean Harbours” equipment in partnership with the Sud Regional Council.

In 2008, the creation of an AFNOR agreement for the certification of Port Environmental Management was an additional step in the process. Carried out in partnership with the Région Sud, it promotes the ports involved in the Clean Harbours approach.

In 2012, the European Clean Harbours certification and Clean Harbours Guidelines replaced the Port Environmental Management certification

The certification referential was launched on the initiative of the Union des Ports de Plaisance de Provence Alpes Côtes d’Azur and Monaco in partnership with the SUD Regional Council, “Clean Harbours Guidelines”’ technical partners, marina managers and their representative body, Écogestes Méditerranée (a group of structures for environmental education), the High council for pleasure recreational boating and the AFNOR.

In 2018 an optional follow-up to the Clean Harbours Certification was initiated by the Sud Région and the Association of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and Monaco Marinas: the French Certification “Port Propres actifs en biodiversité” . It values the commitment of port managers acting in favour of the port and its area of influence.

Frequently asked questions

Label or Certification?

It is not uncommon to hear the phrase « Clean Harbours LABEL » in the press or in exchanges. There is no such thing as a Clean Harbours LABEL. The exact name is CLEAN HARBOURS GUIDELINES CERTIFICATION.

Clean Harbours Guidelines certification guarantees that all the steps in the Clean Harbours Guidelines process are respected and carried out smoothly.

The Clean Harbours guidelines process in 5 steps is the solution to ensure that these areas are properly managed by using the necessary methods and tools.

AFNOR certifiers are in charge of certification assessments according to the referential and of granting certification in a neutral and inde­pendent manner. Certification is granted for a period of three years with yearly monitoring assessments.

Can you lose your certification?

The certification is issued for a period of three years with maintenance audit every year. The renewal of the certification may be refused if the port no longer meets the requirements of the Clean Harbours standards.

What are the costs of these certifications ?

The cost of the Clean Harbours certification has been negotiated so that all ports can apply.

  • Port of less than 800 berths: the cost most often observed is around 4 000€ ex VAT over 3 years.
  • Port bigger or equal to 800 berths: the cost most often observed is around 5,000€ ex VAT over 3 years.

The cost of the “Clean Harbours active in biodiversity” certification most often observed is approximately 1,500€ ex VAT over 3 years.

Send an enquiry to AFNOR to get a personalized quote, which will vary depending on the number of days of audit and the number of sites to be certified. The quotes do not take into account the cost of the Clean Harbours diagnostic study, the investments resulting from it (e.g. upgrading to infrastructure standards) and the equipment to be provided in favour of biodiversity.

How to perform an environmental diagnostic study?

The diagnostic study is carried out by a research office independent of the port. A consultation should be launched with a precise specification.


Can a company, business or various service provider refer to “Clean Harbours” and “Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité” for commercial purposes?

These terms, and the logos, are protected by copyright.

They cannot be used for commercial purposes or to add value to a sales pitch, service, equipment or any other… Any violation of copyright may be subject to prosecution.