Clean shipping on MEPC 64 agenda

27 Sep 2012
IMO –where several important matters are to be discussed by MEPC64

IMO –where several important matters are to be discussed by MEPC64

The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meets for its 64th session from 1 to 5 October 2012, at IMO Headquarters in London. The meeting’s agenda has now been announced.

Leading the discussions will be further development of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) and ship energy efficiency management plan (SEEMP) guidelines; one item on the agenda being to determine minimum propulsion power and speed to enable safe manoeuvring in adverse weather conditions. MEPC64 will consider the development of guidelines for, and the development of EEDI frameworks for, ships not covered by the current EEDI, e.g., ro-ro and cruise passenger ships, and ships with non-conventional propulsion systems, e.g., diesel-electric or turbine propulsion. The EEDI, for new ships, and SEEMP, for all ships, become mandatory on 1 January 2013.

Another important area for MEPC will be the consideration of proposed market-based measures (MBMs) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which would complement the technical and operational measures already adopted under the MARPOL regulations.

It is anticipated that the discussions at MEPC will focus on an update of the GHG emissions’ estimate for international shipping and the methodology and criteria for a comprehensive impact assessment of the MBM proposals (following earlier, initial impact assessments), with a view to studying in detail the direct and indirect impacts on developing countries of the introduction, and non-introduction, of an MBM for international shipping under the auspices of IMO.

MEPC will further consider matters relating to the availability of fuel oil to meet the requirements set out in the MARPOL Annex VI regulation on emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) from ships.

MEPC is expected to reiterate the need for those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004, to achieve its entry into force at the earliest opportunity. Some of the larger shipowning nations are yet to sign, meaning that although the requisite number of member states have ratified the Convention, the 35% of tonnage required is still some way away. The Committee will consider a number of proposals related to the practical implementation of the Convention, aimed at harmonising the type-approval and sampling procedures, and eliminating uncertainties with regard to compliance and preventing the possibility of improperly penalizing ships’ crew members.

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