MEPC set to amend BWM timeframe

The American Bureau of Shipping has prepared a useful timeline that clarifies compliance dates likely to be approved by MEPC this week The American Bureau of Shipping has prepared a useful timeline that clarifies compliance dates likely to be approved by MEPC this week

The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) appears set to approve amendments to its Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention giving many ships additional time to install systems.

An interim briefing provided by the American Bureau of Shipping from the 71st meeting of the MEPC, taking place this week in London, reports that the committee tentatively accepted the proposal on Monday 3 July. If a new draft of the convention’s regulation B-3 and associated circular is approved by the committee at the end of the meeting on Friday, the scheme will be circulated for adoption at MEPC 72 in April next year.

Under the proposal, ships built before the convention’s entry into force (EIF) on 8 September 2017 that require an International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certificate are to comply with the D-2 discharge standard:

  • At the first IOPP renewal survey completed on or after 8 September 2019;
  • At the first IOPP renewal after 8 September 2017, if a survey was completed between 8 September 2014 and EIF; or
  • At the second IOPP renewal after 8 September 2017, if the first survey after EIF falls before 8 September 2019 and no renewal survey was conducted in the three years prior to EIF.

Ships that do not need the IOPP certificate must comply by no later than 8 September 2024. Ships constructed on or after EIF must comply immediately.

The complex series of dates effectively offsets any time advantage ship owners and operators might gain by decoupling their IOPP renewals from their standard five-year surveys, while granting a general two-year postponement in the installation timeframe. Under the new scheme, the latest date for installations would be 8 September 2024, as opposed to 2022 under the current timeframe.

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