MARPOL Convention amendments come into force

The MARPOL amendments are the latest mandatory requirements aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping The MARPOL amendments are the latest mandatory requirements aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping

The new International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) amendments have entered into force which update ship fuel oil reporting requirements, garbage classification and IOPP certificates.

A large part of the amendments centre on the requirements for ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above to collect data on their fuel oil consumption and are the latest mandatory requirements aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping.

The data collection will begin on 1 January 2019 with data reported at the end of each calendar year to the IMO. The aim is to assist Member States in making decisions about any further measures needed to enhance energy efficiency and address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

Data collection

In addition, on or before 31 December 2018, in the case of a ship of 5,000 gross tonnage and above, the mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) will need to include a description of the methodology that will be used to collect the data and the processes that will be used to report the data to the ship's flag State.

The new mandatory data collection system is intended to be the first in a three-step approach in which analysis of the data collected will provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate in the MEPC, under a roadmap for developing a “Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships” through to 2023.

The next stage in the process will see an initial GHG strategy expected to be adopted by the MEPC at its 72nd session (9 to 13 April 2018).

Other amendments

Amendments to MARPOL Annex V on Prevention of pollution by garbage from ships has also entered force which relate to cargo residues of products which are hazardous to the marine environment (HME) and Form of Garbage Record Book.

Regulation 4 and 6 amendments to Annex V require the shipper to declare whether or not they are classed as harmful to the marine environment. A new appendix provides criteria for the classification of solid bulk cargoes.

The Form of Garbage Record Book has also been updated. The Record of Garbage Discharges is divided into Part I for the use of all ships and Part II, required for ships that carry solid bulk cargoes.

A new category of garbage “e-waste” has now been included which includes electrical and electronic equipment that has the potential to be hazardous to human health and/or the environment.

Lastly, the amendments have updated Form B of the Supplement to the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate in relation to segregated ballast tanks.

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