The IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response held its 6th session (PPR 6) from 18 – 22 February 2019 under the Chairmanship of Mr Sveinung Oftedal (NORWAY) and his Vice Chair, Dr Flavio Fernandes (BRAZIL). Mr Oftedal opted not to stand for re-election as Chair following which Dr Fernandes was appointed as his successor and Dr Anita Makinen (FINLAND) became the Sub-Committee Vice-Chair. Three Working Groups (WG), one Technical Group (TG) and one Drafting Group (DG) were formed and chaired as follows:
|WG1||Evaluation of safety and pollution hazards of chemicals, Ms J Contreras (NETHERLANDS)
|WG2||Prevention of air pollution from ships, Mr W Lundy (USA)
|WG3||Heavy Fuel Oil in Arctic Waters and Review of the IBTS
Guidelines, Mr C Goh (SINGAPORE)
|Amendments to the AFS Convention, Dr S Bailey (CANADA)
OPRC Guidelines, Mr O Bjerkemo (NORWAY)
The meeting was attended by representatives from 77 Member Governments, 1 Associate Member of IMO, 4 Observer Intergovernmental Organisations and 40 Non-Governmental Organisations.
Items of particular interest to InterManager Members are as follows:
Address by Secretary General. Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary General IMO, welcomed delegates to the sixth session of PPR but before turning to items on the agenda, he spoke of the increasingly important presence of women at sea. Indeed, this is reflected in the choice of the 2019 World Maritime theme, “Empowering women in the maritime community” which will be celebrated at IMO HQ on 26 September, whilst a parallel event will take place in Colombia.
As to PPR 6’s agenda, he stated that 2019 will be crucial for the implementation of the reduced upper limit of the sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil and that the consistent implementation of the 0.50% m/m global limit, will come into effect from 1 January next year. PPR 5 developed draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes on board ship, which were subsequently adopted by MEPC 73 for entry into force on 1 March 2020. MEPC 73 also approved ‘Guidance on the development of a ship implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit’. What remains now is finalisation of the draft Guidelines on consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI taking into account the outcome of MSC 100 in relation to the safety implications associated with the use of low sulphur fuel oil, together with draft amendments to associated port State control and onboard sampling guidelines.
Mr Lim next commented that at this session, work will be started on the development of measures to reduce the risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. With future vessel traffic in Arctic waters projected to rise, the associated risk of an accidental oil spill into those waters may also increase, thus robust action to reduce the risks is imperative.
Rounding off his welcoming speech, Mr Lim mentioned other important issues to be considered during the meeting, including:
- the consideration of a proposal to amend Annex 1 to the AFS Convention to include controls on cybutryne;
- the investigation of appropriate control measures to reduce the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping;
- the revision of the Guidelines for the provisional assessment of liquid substances transported in bulk; and,
- the finalisation of the Guide on practical implementation of the OPRC Convention and the OPRC-HNS Protocol
SAFETY AND POLLUTION HAZARDS OF CHEMICALS AND PREPARATION OF CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO THE IBC CODE. Discussion in Plenary included matters such as : the report of ESPH 24 (Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards); evaluation of products and cleaning additives; review of products in lists 2, 3 and 4 of the MEPC.2/Circular; how best to assess and classify complex chemical mixtures; the inclusion of energy-rich fuels in a new annex 12 to MEPC.2/Circ.24; and, the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. Following this, the Sub-Committee established WG 1 on ESPH matters and in consideration of the report subsequent to the WG’s deliberations, approved it in general and, in particular:
- Concurred with the evaluation of products and their respective inclusion in lists 1 and 3 of the MEPC.2/Circular;
- Concurred with the evaluation of cleaning additives;
- Concurred regarding the need for a revision of the Tank cleaning additives guidance note and reporting form;
- Noted that 35 tripartite agreements would expire in December 2019 and invited Member Governments to advise their industry counterparts of the need to take necessary action;
- Concurred with the draft MEPC circular on Guidance on the implementation of provisional categorisation of liquid substances in accordance with MARPOL Annex II and the IBC Code related to paraffin-like products;
- Endorsed modifications to the draft amendments to the IBC Code for consideration and adoption by MEPC 74 and MSC 101;
- Endorsed a draft MSC-MEPC circular containing Revised guidelines for the carriage of blends of biofuels and MARPOL Annex I cargoes for approval by MEPC 74 and MSC 101;
- Concurred with a draft revised MEPC.1 circular on Guidelines for the provisional assessment of liquid substances transported in bulk, with a view to approval by MEPC 74;
- Approved a draft revised PPR circular on Decisions with regard to the categorisation and classification of products;
- Noted the WGs concurrence with para 5.3.2 of the draft Interim Guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel (CCC 5/WP.3, annex 1); and,
- Approved the proposed provisional agenda for meeting ESPH 25.
REVISED GUIDANCE ON BALLAST WATER SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS. The Sub-Committee noted that the BWM Convention entered into force on 8 September 2017 and that the number of Contracting Governments is now 79, representing 80.94% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage. A document proposing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the collection of treated ballast water samples for use by scientific researchers was introduced by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea). Following discussion, it was agreed to insert a link to the SOPs referred to in paragraph 9 of the ICES document (PPR/5/5/2) in the data gathering and analysis plan for the experience building phase (BWM.2/Circ.67). A proposal for the development of a standard for verification of ballast water compliance monitoring systems was judged to be outside the scope of the relevant output, but Denmark and other interested delegations were invited to submit a concrete proposal under the output “Urgent measures emanating from issues identified during the experience-building phase of the BWM Convention” to a future session of MEPC. The Sub-Committee will now invite MEPC 74 to note that the work on this output has been completed.
AMENDMENTS TO THE AFS (ANTI-FOULING SYSTEMS) CONVENTION. The AFS Convention entered into force on 17 September 2008 and has not been amended. The number of contracting governments is now 83, representing 95.95% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage. Recalling that PPR 5 agreed an initial proposal to amend annex 1 to the AFS Convention to include controls on cybutryne and that MEPC 73 had agreed to rename the output to reflect inclusion of its control, also extending the target year to 2020, the Sub-Committee discussed 3 documents proposing such amendments. Following this, (most notable for an intervention by Japan expressing concern that, if appropriate sealer coats for existing anti-fouling systems containing cybutrine could not be made available in time before the entry into force of cybutryne controls, the removal of such anti-fouling systems through blasting would remain the only option, causing air pollution during the blasting system), a Technical group was established to review the proposed amendments to annex 1 to the AFS Convention and provide a recommendation as to whether international controls are warranted for cybutryne.
The Technical Group duly convened and submitted a report on its deliberations which the Sub-Committee approved in general and in particular:
- Agreed that the report be circulated to those stipulated in article 6(5) of the AFS Convention prior to consideration by the Committee (MEPC);
- Invited proposals for a standard approach to risk assessment for the future evaluation of anti-fouling substances;
- Encouraged Member States to conduct baseline studies prior to the entry into force of controls on cybutryne, in order to determine effectiveness of these controls;
- Agreed draft amendments to Annex 1 (Controls on anti-fouling systems) to the AFS Convention to include controls on cybutryne and to the model form of the International Anti-fouling System Certificate, both for consideration by MEPC 74;
- Invited proposals to PPR 7 on amendments to the Guidelines for brief sampling, survey and certification, and inspection of anti-fouling systems on ships taking into account issues raised at this session;
- Invited MEPC to request the governing bodies of the London Convention and Protocol to consider a revision of the ‘Revised guidance on best management practices for removal of anti-fouling coatings from ships, including TBT hull paints’ in light of the introduction of cybutryne controls under the AFS Convention; and,
- Invited MEPC to note the need to consider an update to the list of items featuring in the Inventory of Hazardous Materials under the Hong Kong Convention to include cybutryne when the respective controls enter into force.
CONSIDERATION OF THE IMPACT ON THE ARCTIC OF EMISSIONS OF BLACK CARBON
FROM INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. It was recalled that the work plan for consideration of the impact on the Arctic of emissions of Black Carbon from international shipping entailed; developing a definition for Black Carbon emissions; identifying the most appropriate control method for measuring such emissions; and, investigating appropriate control measures to reduce the impact of Black Carbon. Further, MEPC 68 had approved the definition for Black Carbon emissions whilst PPR 5 had agreed a Reporting Protocol for voluntary measurement studies to collect Black Carbon data and had identified the three most appropriate measurement methods for data collection. PPR 5 had also established a Correspondence Group on the subject, under the coordination of Canada with a view to finalisation at PPR 6. The CGs report, together with a number of commenting documents and other relevant submissions, were extensively discussed in Plenary. Points of particular interest emerging from the CG report were;
- The comprehensive and robust list of 41 control measures identified by the CG;
- Future regulation for Black Carbon reduction regulation should be technology-neutral;
- Identified measures for reduction should be prioritised in order to facilitate consideration by the Committee. For example, a rapid shift from heavy fuel oil to distillate could reduce fleet-wide carbon emissions by 33% compared to residual fuels, and if used together with diesel particulate filters, more than 90% reduction could be achieved;
- Although a number of BC control methods had been identified, any assessment of their effectiveness should be qualified by stating limiting conditions and the influence of other factors including engine design, fuel type and engine load;
- Further improvement of the quality of marine diesel fuels would be a pre-requisite to apply some of the identified BC control measures;
- The Bond et al definition of Black Carbon for international shipping was agreed as also was the Reporting protocol for voluntary measurement studies to collect black carbon data;
- The most appropriate BC measurement methods for data collection were identified as Filter Smoke Number (FSN), Photo Acoustic Spectroscopy (PAS) and Laser Induced Incandescence (LII);
- The compilation of candidate control measures to reduce the impact on the Arctic of BC emissions from international shipping; and,
- Supporting guidance identifying areas where further work may be required in the future, as proposed by the delegation of Canada.
In view of the above, the Sub-Committee invited MEPC 74 to note that work on this output has been completed.
CONSISTENT IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATION 14.1.3 OF MARPOL ANNEX VI. It was recalled that MEPC 72 had authorised an Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI (ISWG-AP 1). Document PPR 6/8, drafted by the Secretariat, provided a report of the Meeting which had been held from 9 to 13 July 2018. In its report of the meeting, twelve actions were requested of the Sub-Committee including two related to a different agenda item and a further twelve documents were also examined. Each of the action points were considered at length, following which terms of reference were issued to the Working Group on Prevention of air pollution from ships, instructing the WG to also take into account comments and decisions made in Plenary. Following WG2s deliberations and submission of its report, the Sub-Committee approved it in general, and in particular:
- Noted that to enable enforcement of the prohibition of carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship (expected to enter into force on 1 March 2020), an additional draft amendment to regulation 14.8 for onboard sampling of fuel oil not in use by the ship would be required and that guidelines to support effective and safe implementation would need to be prepared by the Organisation before entry into force of the provision;
- Noted the consideration of amendments to regulation 1 of MARPOL Annex VI and the agreement to remove references to specific regulations in the provision;
- Decided to delete the square brackets and agreed draft amendments to regulations 1,2,14 and 18 and appendices I and VI of MARPOL Annex VI, for approval at MEPC 74;
- Noted the draft guidance for port State control on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel oil;
- Noted that regulation 18.2.4 of MARPOL Annex VI does not provide for the FONAR (Fuel Oil Non Availability Report) to be reported to the port that has failed to provide compliant fuel oil contrary to regulation 18.1 of MARPOL Annex VI, and that the port reception facility in GISIS may provide a model with which to address this issue;
- Decided to retain the square brackets and agreed to the draft 2019 Guidelines on consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI for submission to MEPC 74, with a view to adoption;
- Removed the square brackets from the [MARPOL] in use representative sample in para 2 of the draft MEPC Circular 2019 Guidelines for onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships, as amended, for submission to MEPC 74;
- Agreed to the draft joint MSC-MEPC circular addressing the delivery of compliant fuel by suppliers for approval at MSC 101 and MEPC 74; and,
- Agreed to the draft MEPC Circular Unified interpretations to MARPOL Annex VI providing a unified interpretation to regulation 14.1 of MARPOL Annex VI for submission to MEPC 74.
AMENDMENTSTO REGULATION 14 OF MARPOL ANNEX VI TO REQUIRE A DEDICATED SAMPLING POINT FOR FUEL OIL. WG2 considered this item in series with its other tasking of addressing the prevention of air pollution from ships. The Sub-Committee approved the finalised draft amendments to the Guidelines produced by the Group in respect of onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships and agreed in principle, the draft 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI for submission to MEPC 74.
STANDARDS FOR SHIPBOARD GASIFICATION OF WASTE SYSTEMS AND ASSOCIATED AMENDMENTS TO REGULATION 16 OF MARPOL ANNEX VI. It was recalled that PPR 4, having considered draft standards for shipboard gasification waste to energy systems and associated draft amendments to regulation 16 of MARPOL Annex VI on shipboard incineration, had agreed that amendments should not be confined to one specific technology in order to avoid continuous amendments when a new technology is used in future. PPR 4 established a Correspondence Group on the subject, under the coordination of Canada, and instructed it to further develop generic draft standards for shipboard gasification of waste systems and associated amendments to regulation 16 of MARPOL Annex VI and the IAPP Certificate. In its report to PPR 5, the Correspondence Group on Standards for Shipboard Gasification of Waste Systems and Associated Amendments to regulation 16 of MARPOL Annex VI, noted that the comments received through three rounds of input had generally agreed that:
- Draft standards for shipboard gasification of waste systems should be generic and technology neutral;
- Amendments to regulation 16 of MARPOL Annex VI are not required as the regulation already accommodates alternative designs of shipboard thermal waste treatment devices; and;
- Amendments to the IAPP Certificates are not necessary as it contains specific reference to requirements under regulation 16.
REVIEW OF THE 2015 GUIDELINES FOR EXHAUST GAS CLEANING SYSTEMS. The Sub-Committee recalled that PPR 5 had established a Correspondence Group on Exhaust gas cleaning systems, under the coordination of Finland. In addition to Finland’s CG report, there were five other submissions which were duly considered. With regard to several issues that the CG had been unable to resolve, the Sub-Committee agreed to consider them prior to discussing technical matters with GESAMP. The first was that of the use of mandatory language (“shall”) in the SOx Emission Compliance Certificate form but following a brief discussion, it was agreed to use “should”, the usual IMO practice for instruments of recommendatory nature. The second issue concerned the Date of application of the new EGCS Guidelines where the Sub-Committee agreed that the revised 2015 EGCS Guidelines be prepared as a new set of Guidelines (e.g. 2020 EGCS Guidelines) that will only apply to new installations fitted after a specific date, and existing EGCSs approved in accordance with 2015 EGCS Guidelines will not need to be approved again.
The Sub-Committee recalled that PPR 5 had requested the Secretariat to liaise with GESAMP to seek further advice on the review of the 2015 EGCS Guidelines. As a result, the view was expressed that the environmental benefits of reducing pollution to air must not be diminished should discharge washwater present additional risks, especially as in future there will be more ships using exhaust gas cleaning systems leading to a potential increased risk and possible unintended consequences to the marine aquatic environment. In expressing their appreciation for the advice provided by GESAMP, the majority of those who spoke, acknowledged that preliminary studies indicated that further research on the environmental impact of the discharge of EGCS washwater into the sea was needed to assist informed decision-making by the Sub-Committee. However, the delegation of Japan provided information that it had conducted a detailed scientific impact assessment on the discharge water from open-looped scrubbers, which concluded that the washwater would not cause unacceptable effects either on the marine organisms or the seawater quality and consequently provided scientific justification for the use of open-looped ECGS.
In light of the heavy workload of the Working Group on Prevention of air pollution from ships with regard to consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI, and noting the progress made by the Correspondence Group, it was decided to request MEPC 74 to extend the target year for this output to 2020, with a view to finalising the work at PPR 7.
DEVELOPMENT OF MEASURES TO REDUCE RISKS OF USE AND CARRIAGE OF HEAVY FUEL OIL AS FUEL BY SHIPS IN ARCTIC WATERS. MEPC 72 instructed PPR to develop a definition of heavy fuel oil (HFO), prepare a set of guidelines on mitigation measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters and on the basis of an assessment of the impacts, develop a ban on HFO for use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters.
No documents were submitted regarding a definition of HFO and the task of drawing it up was given to WG 3. Only one document was submitted on the Guidelines on mitigation of risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters and, recognising the heavy workload on WG3, the Sub-Committee instructed DG 1 to develop the draft Guidelines based on document PPR 6/12/1. With regard to the methodology for an impact assessment of a ban, seven submissions were made and gave rise to much discussion prior to the Sub-Committee issuing terms of reference instructing WG 3 to finalise the impact assessment methodology.
Following the deliberations of WG 3, the Sub-Committee examined the WG’s subsequent report, approving it in general, and in particular:
- Noted the working definition of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters, it being “Heavy fuel oil means fuel oils having a density at 15oC higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50oC higher than 180mm2/s”;
- Agreed to the finalised draft methodology for analysing impacts of a ban on heavy fuel oil for the use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters;
- Agreed with WG 3’s recommendation that the seven submitted documents should be forwarded to PPR 7, in addition to information necessary to meet the new impact assessment methodology ;
- Invited submissions to PPR 7, especially those by Arctic States, containing impact assessments guided by but not limited to, the methodology;
- Concurred with the view of WG 3 that MARPOL Annex I would be the most appropriate instrument for a ban on the carriage of HFO in Arctic waters;
- Noted WG 3’s view that no intersessional work is necessary apart from that by a correspondence group; and
- Invited MEPC 74 to extend the target completion year for this output to 2020.
With regard to the task given to DG 1, that of developing draft Guidelines on mitigation of risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters, the Group recommended that a Correspondence Group be established with proposed terms of reference as drawn up by them , to which the Sub-Committee agreed.
REVIEW OF THE IBTS GUIDELINES AND AMENDMENTS TO THE IOPP CERTIFICATE AND OIL RECORD BOOK. Document PPR 6/13 (INTERTANKO) provided a summary of the key technical proposals in relation to the review of the IBTS (Integrated Bilge Treatment System) Guidelines and amendments to the IOPP (International Oil Pollution Prevention) Certificate and Oil Record Book. An Information paper by Sweden on potential evaporation of hydrocarbons from the samples containing mixtures of sludge oil and bilge water during evaporation of water by heating provoked much debate. Some delegations supported deletion of the issue of evaporation from the IBTS Guidelines as an acceptable means of disposal of water in the sludge tank, due to its negative impact on the environment, whilst others supported continued acceptance of evaporation as a means of such disposal, with the addition of appropriate controls and record-keeping provisions, based on the view that evaporation is already an acceptable means of managing oil residues and, without its acceptance, operational and record-keeping problems could be faced. The matter was referred to WG 3 and following an oral report from the Chair of the Working Group regarding the review of the IBTS Guidelines and amendments to the IOPP Certificate and Oil Record Book, the Sub-Committee noted the progress achieved, also that part 2 of its report would be submitted to PPR 7.
GUIDE ON PRACTICAL METHODS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OPRC CONVENTION AND OPRC-HNS PROTOCOL. MEPC 70 approved a new output to facilitate the ratification and implementation of the OPRC (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation) Convention and the OPRC-HNS (Hazardous and Noxious Substances) Protocol through the development of a practical guidance document. PPR 5 subsequently established a correspondence group on OPRC Guidelines, under the coordination of Norway, to develop the Guide. The Sub-Committee noted the good progress made and accordingly established a Drafting Group on OPRC to finalise the draft Guidelines. In consideration of DG 1s report on its work, the Sub-Committee approved it in general, and in particular;
- Agreed to the final draft of the Guide on practical methods for the implementation of the OPRC Convention and OPRC-HNS Protocol for submission to MEPC 74;
- Invited interested Member States to propose a new output on the development of an HNS Response Manual;
- Requested the Secretariat to update the IMO Model Introductory Course on the Response to HNS in the Marine Environment – Manager Level;
- Noted the possible need to consider ways of increasing the number of capacity-building activities related to HNS preparedness and response, through IMO’s ITCP, the different Regional Seas Programmes or relevant industry initiatives;
- Noted the possible need to consider ways of exchanging pollution reports thus enhancing knowledge of how to respond better to spill incidents; and,
- Concurred with the list of recommendations on how best to promote the Guide once published which will involve the Secretariat, Regional Sea Programmes and industry partners.
NOx EMISSIONS FROM MARINE DIESEL ENGINES EQUIPPED WITH SCR SYSTEMS. Two documents were submitted on this item which was taken under ‘Any Other Business’, one by Norway and the other, a commenting paper by EUROMOT. Norway’s document PPR 6/19, contains the results from measurements of marine diesel engines fitted with SCR systems and discusses the issues relating to the malfunction or reduced efficiency of a SCR system. It implied that the 2017 Guidelines addressing additional aspects of the NOx Technical Code 2008 with regard to particular requirements related to marine diesel engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems may require amendments, highlighting concerns over the appropriateness of using periodical spot checks for monitoring the deterioration rate of the SCR system, as well as lack of guidance on how crew should react in the event they get any indication that the SCR system is not working as it should. EUROMOT fundamentally disagreed with Norway, arguing that the NOx Technical Code 2008 and the 2017 SCR Guidelines provide for a robust and reliable NOx emission certification scheme and that the mandated measures detect and counteract deterioration of SCR systems at an early stage. In comparison, the Norwegian NOx Fund, which funds many SCR systems installed on ships in Norwegian coastal shipping, does not require SCR systems to undergo the certification requirements in accordance with the mandatory instruments of IMO. The document further exhorts that measurements of ships under the Norwegian NOx Fund should not be compared with those certified under MARPOL Annex VI, as different requirements apply under the two schemes for the approval and for the onboard verification procedure.
Following discussion in Plenary on these two fairly polarised views, the Sub-Committee invited Member States and international organisations to report experiences with the operation of engine/SCR-systems certified under MARPOL Annex VI and also stated that should any interested Member Governments wish to amend the 2017 SCR Guidelines, a proposal for a new work output needs to be submitted to a future session of MEPC, taking into account the comments made at this session.
Date of Next Meeting. The next meeting, PPR 7 will be held during February 2020.
Captain Paddy McKnight