MEPC 65 Update


The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 65) met between 13 and 17 May 2013.

 Brief overview of the significant issues that were discussed at this session are given below:

1.Ballast Water Management :

Assembly resolution to relax the implementation schedule of ballast water management convention was agreed. The new installation schedule is now pinned to the entry into force date of the BWM Convention, considers all vessels constructed before entry into force as existing vessels. These existing vessels will then have until their first renewal survey after entry into force of the BWM Convention to install a BWMS.

The resolution further clarifies that the revised implementation schedule refers to IOPP renewal survey required as per MARPOL Annex I (Not the renewal survey associated with International Ballast Water Management Certificate.)

Draft Assembly Resolution given in Annex 1 of MEPC 65/WP7/Rev.1 can be referred for details. This draft circular will be adopted during assembly 28.

The MEPC also finalised two further BWM Convention issues, the first is a trial period for port state control and sampling. Port State Control (PSC) will refrain from detaining a ship or taking criminal sanctions in the event that a BWMS does not meet the discharge standards. This will allow time for PSC to determine which sampling and testing techniques work in practice and will also allow the industry to identify any further problems associated with the operation of type approved BWMS.

The second development relates to increasing the transparency of the type approval process and the adoption of amendments to both the type approval certification documents as well as the guidance to administrations on the type approval process.

  1. NOx Tier III standard implementation :

It was agreed by the majority at MEPC 65 that the technology or other means that will allow new ships to comply with the NOx Tier III emissions limits still need further testing and development.

Consequently, Committee decided that the implementation date from which new ships would be required to meet NOx Tier III emissions limits needs to be delayed from 1 January 2016 to 1 January 2021 (a five-year delay),subject to adoption of the necessary amendments to Marpol Annex VI which will be adopted next year at MEPC 66.

  1. Resolution on Promotion of Technical Co-operation and Transfer of Technology:

Committee managed to adopt a compromise text at last minute. The final text includes reference to Kyoto Protocol and CBDR together with reference to the IMO principle of non-discrimination as well as the IMO principle of no more favourable treatment.

MEPC 65/J/8 can be referred for detail of draft resolution on promotion of technical Co-operation and Transfer of Technology.

  1. MARPOL Annex VI Revisions:

Amendment to MARPOL Annex VI, chapter 4 on ship energy efficiency were agreed in order to extend the regulatory framework to include LNG Carrier, RO RO Vehicle Carrier, RO RO Cargo Ship, RO RO Passenger Ship and Cruise Passenger Ship (with non conventional propulsion).

Regulation 19.3 was amended to specifically exempt application of the Attained EEDI and Required EEDI requirements to cargo ships having ice-breaking capability (i.e., designed to break ice independently without assistance). Additionally, new regulation 19.2.2 was approved which exempts ships not propelled by mechanical means, and platforms including FPSOs and FSUs and drilling rigs, regardless of their propulsion, from the energy efficiency provisions of Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI. All above mentioned amendments to Marpol Annex VI, Chapter 4 will be adopted at MEPC 66.

Furthermore following guidelines were agreed and adopted at this session:

  • 2013 Interim Guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions. (For further details, Annex 5 of MEPC 65/WP.10 can be referred).
  • 2013 Guidance on treatment of innovative energy efficiency technologies for calculation and verification of the attained EEDI (For further details, Annex 6 of MEPC 65/WP.10 can be referred).
  • 2013 Guidelines for the calculation of the coefficient fw for decrease in ship speed in a representative sea condition (For further details, Annex 2 of MEPC 65/WP.10 can be referred).
  1. Garbage Management under MARPOL Annex V

5.1) Boiler/ Economiser wash-water

The Committee adopted amendments to the 2012 Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V which identifies boiler/economizer wash-water as one of the types of operational wastes that are exempted from the discharge requirements of MARPOL V.

On the other hand, best management practices, approved by the Committee as a new Circular,(Annex 5, MEPC 65/WP12) recommend that boiler/economizer wash-water be collected onboard and decanted with separated solid soot to be discharged to a reception facility. Any remaining decanted soot water should be either processed through the ship's machinery space bilge water system if that system is suitable for such soot entrained water or retained on board for eventual discharge to a reception facility. Annex 2 of MEPC 65/WP12 can be referred for detail.

5.2) E-waste

Committee adopted amendments to the 2012 Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V which now specify that E-waste (e.g., electronic cards, gadgets, instruments, equipment, computers, printer cartridges, etc.) generated onboard the ship is to be separated from the other types of specified garbage. Annex 2 of MEPC 65/WP12 can be referred for detail.

5.3) Garbage Record Book

The Committee approved revisions to the Garbage Record Book which, subject to adoption at MEPC 66, will provide three unique entries for recording the disposition of garbage according to its category. These entries are for garbage that is discharged to the sea, discharged to reception facilities and incinerated. Previously, discharges to the sea and incineration were treated as a single entry. Annex 1of MEPC 65/WP12 can be referred for detail.

5.4) Cargo hold wash-water

 Committee issued a Circular that allows cargo hold wash-water (including that classified as HME) to be discharged outside special areas while observing the conditions stated in circular.

This decision was taken, based on difficulties experienced by ship owners/operators in obtaining declarations identifying cargoes that have been classified as harmful to the marine environment (HME) and also finding inadequate reception facilities for receiving such cargoes.

  1. Adoption of Mandatory Instruments

The following was concluded with respect to Mandatory Instruments at this session for entry into force on 01/10/2014:

  • Amendments to MARPOL Annex I – Form A & Form B
  • Amendments to condition assessment scheme – Consequential changes following the adoption of ESP code.
  • Various instruments to make R.O. Code mandatory.