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Outcome of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, MEPC 73

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IMO adopts carriage ban on non-compliant fuel from March 2020 and discusses amendments to EEDI requirements. This statutory news contains the main decisions of MEPC 73 held on 22-26 October 2018.
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Technical Regulatory News No 20, 2018 - MEPC

Relevant for design offices, shipyards, suppliers, owners/managers, flag states.

The following is a summary of the most relevant decisions made by MEPC 73.

Sulphur regulations

To ensure a consistent implementation and enforcement of the global 0.5% sulphur cap, IMO adopted regulations banning the carriage of non-compliant fuel in fuel tanks, unless the ship is equipped with a scrubber. The ban will enter into force in March 2020. There is no change to the 1 January 2020 deadline on the 0.5% global sulphur limit.

To assist ship owners in preparing for the global sulphur cap, a Ship Implementation Plan guideline was approved and will be made available. The MEPC decided not to introduce an Experience Building Phase, but instead agreed to further consider systematic data gathering, and analysis of fuel quality and availability, to monitor the implementation. This will not however result in amendments to requirements.

Reduction of GHG emissions

Following up on the GHG reduction strategy adopted in April 2018, MEPC agreed on a follow-up action plan. According to the plan, discussions on the details of specific reduction measures will start at MEPC 74 in May 2019, hence no concrete actions at this stage. DNV GL expects the initial focus to be on proposals related to EEDI and SEEMP.

Energy Efficiency Design Index

Based on a review of the future EEDI requirements, MEPC discussed an increase of the Phase 3 reduction requirements. The proposal was to increase the requirements to 40% for container vessels starting in 2022; retain the 30% for general cargo vessels, but starting in 2022; and to retain the current requirements and timeline (2025) for tankers, bulkers and all ro-ro ship categories. Various proposals were discussed for the other ship types.

However, MEPC 73 was not able to conclude on this matter and deferred the decision on approval of the amendments to MEPC 74 to May 2019.

Other

MEPC started to discuss how to address plastic litter from shipping and developed an action plan. The measures within the plan should be completed by 2025.

MEPC approved amendments to allow electronic record books under MARPOL. If adopted in May 2019, the amendments are expected to enter into force in 2021. A separate newsletter on this will shortly be communicated.

Recommendations

  • DNV GL recommends its customers to continue preparing for the global 0.5% sulphur cap from 1 January 2020 and note the ban on carrying non-compliant fuel from 1 March 2020.
  • Note that proposals for concrete GHG control measures will be discussed in May 2019. Note also the discussion on amendments to EEDI requirements and the opening for using electronic record books.

References

Global Sulphur Cap 2020 guidance

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