(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) held its 78th session from June 6 to 10, 2022. This Brief provides an overview of the more significant issues progressed at this session.
- Revision of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy
- Proposals for mid-term GHG reduction measures
- New Guidance on CII – SEEMP Part III
- Updated Guidance on EEXI and CII Calculations
- New Med SOx ECA
- Guidance on EGCS Discharges and Residues
- Implementing the AFS Convention – Ban on Cybutryne
Revision of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy
The Committee recalled that the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships foresaw the adoption of a Revised Strategy in spring 2023 and to that purpose MEPC 77 had recognized the need to strengthen the ambition of the Initial Strategy and agreed to initiate it’s revision of the Initial Strategy with a final draft Revised Strategy to be considered by MEPC 80 (July-2023), with a view to adoption.
The Committee had for its consideration during this session several documents containing proposals related to the inclusion of a specific date of no later than 2050 to phase out GHG emissions from international shipping; and the revision of other parts of the Initial IMO Strategy, such as the possible strengthening of the level of ambition for 2030 and introduction of an additional progress checkpoint in 2040.
Following an extensive discussion, during which more than 70 delegations of Member States and observer organizations took the floor on this issue, the Committee endeavoured to continue its consideration of how to pursue efforts to phase out GHG emissions from international shipping and agreed to continue the discussion at the forthcoming intersessional meeting and two working group sessions and encouraged all delegations to work together intersessionally on developing concrete proposals on the revision of the Strategy.
Proposals for Mid-Term GHG Reduction Measures
In accordance with the Work plan for development of mid- and long-term measures, the phase of collation and initial consideration of proposals for measures (Phase I) was due to be completed by spring 2022 before giving way to the assessment and selection of measures to further develop (Phase II).
The Committee noted the discussions of ISWG-GHG 12 on the consideration of concrete new proposals and additional clarifications of previously proposed measures and associated impact assessments in the context of phase I of the Work plan which mainly included:
- The International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB)
- The International Maritime Sustainability Funding and Reward (IMSF&R) mechanism
- The Mandatory High Ambition Levy on all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping
- The Zero Emission Vessels (ZEVs) Incentive Scheme
- The Emission Cap-and-Trade System (ECTS)
- The GHG Fuel Standard (GFS)
The Committee endorsed the conclusion of the ISWG-GHG 12 on advancing to phase II of the Work plan for further development of a "basket of candidate mid-term measures" and encouraged proponents of measures to work together intersessionally with a view to exploring how different elements of these proposals could be combined in the context of a basket of mid-term GHG reduction measures, and invited Member States and international organizations to submit new documents to a future session of ISWG-GHG, including refined proposals to that purpose.
Guidelines for Development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan
At the 76th session of the Committee, new MARPOL Annex VI regulations were adopted concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping. In support of these new MARPOL Annex VI regulations, which enter into force on 1 November 2022, the Committee adopted the following resolutions related to the revision of affected vessels’ Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP):
|MEPC.346(78)||2022 Guidelines for the Development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)|
|MEPC.347(78)||Guidelines for the Verification and Company Audits by the Administration of Part III of the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)|
All affected vessels must update their SEEMP to include Part III to establish the Ship Operational Carbon Intensity Plan and upon satisfactory assessment of it, receive an updated Confirmation of Compliance (CoC) by 31 December 2022. Resolution MEPC.346(78) provides a sample form for this new plan while Resolution MEPC.347(78) provides a sample form for the Confirmation of Compliance.
Guidelines Concerning Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Data
The Committee adopted the following resolutions and approved the following guidance circular related to the handling and verification of ship fuel oil consumption data and operational carbon intensity:
|MEPC.348(78)||2022 Guidelines for Administration Verification of Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Data and Operational Carbon Intensity|
|MEPC.349(78)||2022 Guidelines for the Development and Management of the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database|
|MEPC.1/Circ.901||Guidance for Submission of Data to the IMO Data Collection System of Fuel Oil Consumption of Ships from a State Not Party to MARPOL Annex VI|
These guidance documents have been updated to incorporate the achieved EEDI and EEXI, as well as the assessment and reporting of the operational carbon intensity rating to the IMO. On an annual basis, the attained annual operational CII must be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII to determine the operational carbon intensity rating for each affected vessel, and this information will be reported to the IMO along with the current reporting of fuel oil consumption data.
Revised Guidance on EEXI and CII Calculations
The Committee adopted the following guidelines supporting the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) as part of the IMO’s carbon intensity reduction measures:
|MEPC.350(78)||2022 Guidelines on the Method of Calculation of the Attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)|
|MEPC.351(78)||2022 Guidelines on Survey and Certification of the Attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)|
|MEPC.352(78)||2022 Guidelines on Operational Carbon Intensity Indicators and the Calculation Methods (CII Guidelines, G1)|
|MEPC.353(78)||2022 Guidelines on the Reference Lines for Use with Operational Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII Reference Lines Guidelines, G2)|
|MEPC.354(78)||2022 Guidelines on the Operational Carbon Intensity Rating of Ships|
(CII Rating Guidelines, G4)
|MEPC.355(78)||2022 Interim Guidelines on Correction Factors and Voyage Adjustments for CII Calculations (CII Guidelines, G5)|
The revised 2022 EEXI guidelines now provide a method for in-service performance measurements while the revised 2022 CII Guidelines incorporate changes as follows:
- 2022 CII Guidelines, G1: For ro-ro cargo ships, gross tonnage (GT) should be used as Capacity
- 2022 CII Guidelines, G2: Revised reference lines for combination carrier, ro-ro cargo ship (vehicle carrier), ro-ro cargo ship and ro-ro passenger ship and the inclusion of high-speed craft designed to SOLAS chapter X.
- 2022 CII Guidelines, G4: Revised rating boundaries (dd factors) for ro-ro cargo ship and ro-ro passenger ship.
Correction Factors and Voyage Adjustments for CII
In considering issues related to correction factors and voyage adjustments, some delegations expressed concerns about the exclusion of the several proposed correction factors and voyage adjustments, which in their view would undermine the robustness of the CII framework. These Delegations, recalling that the Initial Strategy referred to possible distortion of the market or trade, expressed support, in particular, for correction factors that address port waiting time and adverse weather conditions.
In this regard, the Committee invited interested Member States and international organizations to collect relevant data in the early years of implementation of the CII rating system and to report relevant information to the Committee ahead of the review of the CII regulations and guidelines to be completed at the latest by 1 January 2026.
Guidance on Methods, Procedures and Verification of In-Service Performance Measurements
The Committee approved MEPC circular MEPC.1/Circ.902 which provides guidance on methods, procedures and verification of in-service performance measurements for the purpose of the EEXI calculation. For cases where the speed-power curve is not available or the sea trial report does not contain the EEDI or design load draught condition, the ship speed Vref can be obtained from the in-service performance measurement method for the purpose of the EEXI calculation, in accordance with paragraph 188.8.131.52 of the EEXI Calculation Guidelines (MEPC.350(78)). When carrying out the in-service performance measurements, common international standards (e.g., ITTC quality procedures, ISO 15016:2002, ISO 15016:2015 and/or ISO 19030:2016) should be referred to, unless explicitly specified in this guidance.
2022 Guidance Regarding the Delivery of EGCS Residues and Stored Discharge Water to Port Reception Facilities
The Committee approved circular MEPC.1/Circ.900 providing guidelines to address the proper management and disposal of exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) waste types into port reception facilities. Terminology is introduced to distinguish between EGCS residue, washwater and bleed-off water. In sea areas including ports, harbours and estuaries where the discharge of EGCS discharge water is prohibited, ships should keep their discharge water on board in dedicated holding tank(s) for delivery to port reception facilities. However, outside these areas, the temporary stored discharge water could be discharged into the sea in accordance with the discharge criteria given the 2021 EGCS Guidelines (MEPC.340(77)). It is also clarified that EGCS residues (material removed from washwater or bleed-off water by a treatment system or discharge water either of which do not meet the discharge criterion for EGCS) should not be discharged to the sea, mixed with other waste streams or burned in the ship’s incinerator, but should instead be appropriately managed onboard and delivered ashore to adequate reception facilities.
2022 Guidelines for Risk and Impact Assessments of Discharge Water from EGCS
The Committee approved circular MEPC.1/Circ.899 providing guidelines intended to provide a means of assessing impacts and risks associated with the discharge water from exhaust gas cleaning systems. These guidelines provide information on recommended methodology for risk and impact assessments that Member States should follow when setting local or regional regulations to protect sensitive environments from the discharge water from EGCS that complies with the Convention. These guidelines include assessments of the risks from a long-term perspective, with respect to aquatic quality, aquatic organism, and/or human health.
Unified Interpretations on Air Pollution Topics
The Committee approved two new Unified Interpretations related to MARPOL Annex VI and the NOx Technical Code 2008:
1) Regulation 18.3 of MARPOL Annex VI – Use of Biofuels
A new Unified Interpretation was approved to provide clarity on the use of biofuels on board ships and possible implications on NOx emissions. The interpretation provides a definition for the term “biofuel”, and indicates that:
- a fuel oil which is a blend of not more than 30% by volume of biofuel should meet the requirements of regulation 18.3.1 of MARPOL Annex VI. It is therefore considered to be fuel oil of blends of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum refining and verification of the NOx impacts is not required; and
- a fuel oil which is a blend of more than 30% by volume of biofuel should meet the requirements of regulation 18.3.2 of MARPOL Annex VI. It may also be used without verification of the NOx impacts where the engine is already certified to Annex VI regulation 13 on a DM or RM grade fuel, and biofuels can be burnt without changes to the NOx critical components or settings/operating values outside those as given by that engine’s approved NOx Technical File.
This interpretation will be included in a new Revision 6 of MEPC.1/Circ.795.
2) Paragraph 184.108.40.206 of NOx Technical Code 2008 – Revised Interpretation of Engine Family and Engine Group Concept
A modification to an existing Unified Interpretation was approved, specifying that the unified interpretation should not be applied to the engine family, in principle, without clear evidence by the applicant that the different number of cylinders has no negative impact on the NOx emissions. This modified interpretation will be included in a new Revision 1 of MEPC.1/Circ.895.
BALLAST WATER AND ANTI-FOULING SYSTEMS
Report on the Experience-Building Phase of the BWM Convention
Based on information shared by numerous Member States, the IMO Secretariat presented the Committee with a data analysis report on the Experience-Building Phase (EBP) associated with the BWM Convention. The data analysis summarized the numbers and types of compliance issues arising during the first five years under the BWM Convention, including inspection findings, maintenance issues and accidents or defects. Based upon this information, the Committee agreed to develop a BWM Convention Review Plan (CRP) to identify areas for improving BWMS performance and reliability, including crew training and maintenance. A correspondence group will be established to progress this work intersessionally and will report its progress to MEPC 80 (July-2023).
Enumerating Viable Organisms for Type Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems
The Committee approved a revision to the Guidance on Methodologies that May Be Used for Enumerating Viable Organisms for Type Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems. Within the revised circular, the table listing methodologies for enumerating viable organisms has been revised, and the row addressing the “Most Probable Number Dilution Culture + Motility (MPN+M)” methodology has been revised to update the provided reference for examples of this methodology’s application. This revised guidance will be released as BWM.2/Circ.61/Rev.1.
Guidelines for Re-Evaluations of BWMS after Final Approval
The Committee approved a revision to circular BWM.2/Circ.13, Methodology for Information Gathering and Conduct of Work of the GESAMP-BWWG, to provide a new Chapter 12 containing guidance for addressing the potential need for re-evaluation of ballast water management systems which have been modified previously being granted a Final Approval. This new chapter provides guidelines for determining whether re-evaluation after a modification is required, including identifying all parameters for which modifications could influence the outcome of the risk assessment for the environment, human health or ship safety. These parameters include changes to the Active Substance, its dose, filtration, neutralization, TRO sensor(s), and human interference, and guidance is given as to whether potential changes to those parameters would require a new application for re-evaluation for Final Approval only, both Basic Approval and subsequently Final Approval, or no re-evaluation. The revised circular will be published as BWM.2/Circ.13/Rev.5.
Unified Interpretations of the BWM Convention
The Committee approved one new Unified Interpretation related to the BWM Convention:
1) Appendix I to the BWM Convention
The Committee approved an interpretation of Appendix I (Form of the IBWM Certificate) of the BWM Convention, which provides examples of specific circumstances in which “Other Approach” (i.e. alternative management techniques in lieu of the D-2 treatment standard under an exemption issued by the flag Administration) is entered in the IBWM Certificate for ships which occasionally engaged in an international voyage and do not intend to discharge ballast water back to the original location. This interpretation will be included in BWM.2/Circ.66/Rev.3.
Temporary Storage of Treated Sewage and Grey Water in Ballast Tanks
The committee consider paper MEPC 78/4 (IACS), raising concerns about the temporary storage of treated sewage and grey water in ballast tanks and seeking clarification from the Committee on the permission of such practice under the BWM Convention, providing possible approaches to be considered if the permission of such practice was confirmed, including to develop either guidance on the temporary storage of grey water or treated sewage in ballast water tanks or amendments to MARPOL Annex IV and the BWM Convention.
Diverse views were expressed on this matter, which was also highlighted as an issue affecting the operation of ships in practice. The Committee endorsed the view that ballast water discharges from ballast tanks used also for other purposes would be compliant with the BWM Convention, while other issues associated with this matter should be addressed in the context of MARPOL and invited interested Member States and international organizations to submit concrete proposals on additional aspects for guidance.
Revised Guidelines on Anti-fouling System Sampling, Inspection and Certification
Subsequent to the adoption at MEPC 76 of controls on anti-fouling systems containing cybutryne, the Committee adopted three updated guidance documents related to the AFS Convention in order to reflect the regulations which will enter into force on 1 January 2023. The following resolutions have been adopted:
|MEPC.356(78)||2022 Guidelines for Brief Sampling of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships|
|MEPC.357(78)||2022 Guidelines for Inspection of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships|
|MEPC.358(78)||2022 Guidelines for Survey and Certification of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (superseding MEPC 208(62))|
The 2022 Guidelines for Inspection of Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships will be added as a new appendix to the IMO Procedures for Port State Control by a future session of the III Sub-Committee.
The revisions made to these three guidelines incorporate the previously adopted implementation schedule for the ban on cybutryne, and also provide additional details for confirming compliance, such as:
1) Definition of compliance – sampling of the anti-fouling system paint should confirm cybutryne at a level which does not provide a biocidal effect (i.e. maximum 1,000 mg cybutryne per kg of dry paint);
2) Tolerance Range – the tolerance range is 250 mg cybutryne per kg of dry paint (25%) in addition to the threshold value.
3) Sampling – when testing for cybutryne, every sample to be taken in duplicate, providing one specimen for analysis and one for storage/back-up;
4) Analysis – details provided for one-step analysis of AFS samples to detect cybutryne;
Marine Plastic Litter From Ships
Draft Amendments to MARPOL Annex V
The Committee approved amendments to MARPOL Annex V to expand the requirement for a garbage record book by lowering the threshold down to ships of 100 gross tonnage and above (from the current threshold 400 gross tonnage and above). This is done in an effort to expand tracking and reporting of accidental discharges to the sea that may involve plastics. Additionally, the IMO Secretariat has been requested to compile a list of guidelines requiring consequential amendments due to the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex V regarding the garbage record book.
The MARPOL Annex V amendments will be subject to adoption at MEPC 79 (Dec-2022), and consideration will be given to revising guidelines associated with garbage record books during PPR 10 (Apr-2023).
Discussion on Mandatory Marking of Fishing Gear
The Committee discussed a submittal originating from MEPC 75, proposing amendments to MARPOL Annex V to mandate the marking of fishing gear so that lost, abandoned or intentionally discarded fishing gear can be traced back to the owning vessel by the IMO Ship Identification Number. Acknowledging that fishing gear lost at sea represents the largest category of all the sea-based plastic litter sources in terms of volume and potential impact, the Committee agreed to instruct the PPR sub-committee to develop MARPOL Annex V amendments to require the marking of fishing gear, using the framework of a mandatory goal-based requirement.
A goal-based approach was selected in consideration of concerns raised regarding the variety of ways in which fishing gear may be tagged and identified, and will allow States to develop their own national standards for fishing gear marking which conform to certain functional requirements while being appropriate for their unique local fishing industries. Development of the MARPOL Annex V amendment and supporting goal-based standards will be done in close cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which has experience in addressing this issue.
Status of the IMO Study on Marine Plastic Litter
Following the Committee’s adoption at MEPC 77 of the Strategy to Address Marine Plastic Litter from Ships (MEPC.341(77)) to guide and monitor the effective implementation of the Action Plan, the Committee has taken steps to initiate a comprehensive study on marine plastic litter from all ships, including macro and microplastics. The IMO Secretariat provided an update on this effort, and advised that they had not been able to recruit an external consultant to perform an initial review of the terms of reference for this study in time for reporting to this Session. However, the IMO Secretariat is currently in the process of establishing a contract with an external expert who has agreed to review the terms of reference for the IMO Study on Marine Plastic Litter, and submit a report to MEPC 79 (Dec-2022).
Amendments to MARPOL Annex I
The Committee adopted Resolution MEPC.343(78) containing amendments to Regulation 28 of MARPOL Annex I relating to watertight doors. The amendments are intended to address inconsistencies in several IMO instruments with respect to doors in watertight bulkheads. The Convention requires that the final waterline after flooding shall not be above the lower edge of any opening through which progressive downflooding may take place, however in accordance with the amended text, this waterline may exceed the lower edge of :
1) remotely operated sliding watertight doors,
2) hinged watertight access doors of the quick-acting or single-action type with open/closed indication locally and at the navigation bridge that are normally closed at sea, and
3) hinged watertight doors that are permanently closed at sea.
These amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2024 in correlation with similar amendments to the Load Lines Convention.
Amendments to the IBC Code
Similar to the above noted amendments to MARPOL Annex I, the Committee adopted Resolution MEPC.345(78) containing amendments to Chapter 2 of the IBC Code relating to watertight doors. These amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2024, following similar amendments to MARPOL Annex I and the Load Lines Convention.
Amendments to MARPOL Annex II
The Committee adopted Resolution MEPC.344(78) containing amendments to Appendix I of MARPOL Annex II, Guidelines for the categorization of noxious liquid substances, in order to reflect updates to the GESAMP Hazard Profile table. As a result, the tables under the title “Abbreviated legend to the revised GESAMP Hazard Evaluation Procedure” have been replaced. These amendments will enter into force on 1 November 2023.
Amendments to MARPOL Appendix V of Annex VI
The Committee approved an amendment to Appendix V (“Information to be included in the bunker delivery note”) of MARPOL Annex VI to include flashpoint as mandatory information in the bunker delivery note. The draft amendment is intended to enhance the safety of ships related to use of fuel oil by addressing concerns regarding the verification of the flashpoint of bunkered fuel oil. This approved amendment will be presented for subsequent adoption at MEPC 79 (Dec-2022).
Draft Amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, IV, V and VI – Regional Arrangements for Port Reception Facilities in the Arctic
The Committee approved several amendments to MARPOL which would allow States with coastline bordering Arctic waters to meet their obligations for providing adequate port reception facilities for disposal of ships’ wastes. These amendments acknowledge the infrastructure limitations faced by ports in Arctic regions, and provide the option for States in these regions to provide adequate reception facilities by means of agreed regional arrangements. The implementation of such “Regional Arrangements” will require the development of a Regional Reception Facility Plan (RRFP) based on the Guidelines for Development of a Regional Reception Facility Plan (MEPC.221(63), as amended.
Additionally, it was recognized that some Arctic states may have multiple coastlines, some of which do not border Arctic waters. The amended regulations would allow such states to enter into “Regional Arrangements” agreements, but only to support the needs of their ports in Arctic waters. Use of this “Regional Arrangements” concept cannot be applied to any ports outside of Arctic waters. Such States will still be obligated to provide adequate reception facilities for wastes at their non-Arctic ports.
These approved amendments will be presented for subsequent adoption at MEPC 79 (Dec-2022).
Draft Amendments to the 2012 Guidelines for Development of a Regional Reception Facility Plan (MEPC.221(63))
In relation to the MARPOL amendments noted above, the Committee also approved amendments to the 2012 Guidelines for Development of a Regional Reception Facility Plan (MEPC.221(63)). Whereas these Guidelines previously only addressed small island developing States (SIDS), the amendments extend the guidelines to also apply to States with coastline bordering Arctic waters. The revised guidelines will be presented to MEPC 79 (Dec-2022) for subsequent adoption of a revised MEPC resolution, in conjunction with the adoption of the above noted amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, IV, V and VI.
Designation of the Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides
The Committee approved a draft resolution establishing a new Emission Control Area (ECA) for the Mediterranean Sea as a whole. The approval of this new ECA would require vessels to utilize fuel oil of 0.10%m/m sulphur content when operating anywhere within the Mediterranean Sea.
The draft resolution will also provide amendments to MARPOL Annex VI that will acknowledge the Mediterranean Sea alongside other existing ECA’s, provide a formal description of the ECA by coordinates, and confirm the requirement utilize fuel oil of 0.10%m/m sulphur content when operating in this area. The earliest date for entry into force of these amendments would be 1 May 2024. The final date will be agreed at MEPC 79, and there will be a 12-month grace period for enforcement following that date.
The approved draft resolution will be presented for subsequent adoption at MEPC 79 (Dec-2022).
Review of the IBTS Guidelines and Amendments to IOPP Certificate and Oil Record Book
The Committee considered an output from PPR 7 revising the 2008 Revised Guidelines for Systems for Handling Oily Wastes in Machinery Spaces of Ships Incorporating Guidance Notes for an Integrated Bilge Water Treatment System (IBTS). This revision (currently referenced as the 2020 IBTS Guidelines) consolidates several amendments made to the previous guidelines, and goes further to address definitions for “clean drains” and “bilge separation unit”, as well as addressing the use of forced evaporation for removing water in oil residues.
However, concerns remained regarding the use of forced evaporation as an approved means of disposal of oily bilge water. Some States questioned the technical basis for accepting this method, and others further recommended that this method should be prohibited under MARPOL Annex I.
This subject will be addressed again at PPR 10 (Apr-2023). Once this matter is finalized, related amendments to MARPOL Annex I appendix II (Form of the IOPP Certificate/Supplements) and appendix III (Form of the Oil Record Book) will be put forward to reflect the new 2020 IBTS Guidelines.
Postponement of Agenda Items
Due to reduced capacity of the IMO Building and limitations of the virtual meeting format utilized at this session, the Committee agreed to postpone consideration of several significant proposals and work items, including the following items below. Related submissions will be referred to MEPC 79 (Dec 2022).
1) Numerous submittals related to EEDI, including:
a. Amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the Method of Calculation of Attained EEDI
b. Updates of the Shaft Power Limitation concept for EEDI
c. Introduction of EEDI Phase 4
d. EEDI application dates for Passenger Ships with non-conventional propulsion
2) Several submittals concerning the use of biofuels and biofuel blends as fuel oil
3) Proposal for guidance for Administrations in case of use of a power reserve by un-limiting the shaft/engine power limitation
4) Proposal to include all greenhouse gases emitted from ships, including methane, in the EEDI
5) Application of the BWM Convention to specific ship types, in particular to multipurpose salvage ships