The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee held its 74th Session (MEPC 74) from Monday 13 through Friday 17 May 2019 under the Chairmanship of Mr Hideako Saito (JAPAN) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Harry Conway (LIBERIA), both of whom were re-elected for 2020.
Three Working Groups (WG), one Drafting Group (DG), and one Review Group (RG) were formed and chaired as follows:
WG1 Air pollution and energy efficiency, Mr K Yoshida (JAPAN)
WG2 GHG emissions from ships, Mr S Oftedal (NORWAY)
WG3 Marine Plastic Litter, Ms A Sly (AUSTRALIA)
DG1 Amendments to mandatory instruments, Mr H Steinbock (GERMANY)
RG1 Ballast water management, Dr F Fernandes (BRAZIL)
110 Member States registered for the meeting, plus 2 Associates, 4 UN and Special Agencies, 8 Inter-Governmental and 53 Non-Governmental organisations. The InterManager Delegation was assisted by Associate Member SGS, providing three in number who assisted in covering Plenary and importantly, WG 3 on Marine Plastic Litter and RG 1 on Ballast Water.
Of the roughly 100 Member States and half that number again of Non-Governmental Organisations who turned up for the meeting (comprising in excess of 1200 delegates), the Plenary auditorium was bursting at the seams necessitating an audio and visual link-up to a separate conference room. In considering the 177 submissions to the meeting, there was insufficient time for the introduction of all documents within Plenary prior to consideration by the expert working/review/drafting groups and this became a source of marked, even vexed in some cases, discontent amongst a number of Member States. The Chairman, deservedly popular on the Floor for his delightful sense of humour, nevertheless insisted on hearing out all delegations who wished to speak and be recorded as doing so, on issues that were moving in a predictable direction and pointing to a fairly inevitable outcome thus ‘spilling’ a considerable amount of precious time that could otherwise be offered less thinly to arguably more important items.
Matters of most interest to InterManager members are as follows:
IMO SECRETARY GENERAL’S ADDRESS. Mr Lim welcomed delegates to the 74th session of MEPC and spoke briefly about the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day theme, “Empowering women in the maritime community” which recognises the professional contribution of women and will be celebrated at IMO HQ on 26 September preceded by a parallel event in Cartagena from 15 to 17 September.
Highlighting the main agenda items, he first referred to the ‘Reduction of GHG emissions’ with the ‘UN State of the Global Climate’ report expressing the view that time is running out if we are to meet the global challenge, words echoed by the UN S–G, Mr Guteres that “the global community needs to bring action, not words”. However, Mr Lim stated that last week’s Intersessional Meeting on the ‘Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’ had made good progress although the tangible reduction actions in the short term need to pave the way for medium and long term measures. In this regard, he acknowledged the importance of technical cooperation and capacity building to support effective implementation of the Initial Strategy for which a voluntary multi-donor trust fund will be discussed during the meeting. He expressed particular pleasure in the development of a draft MEPC resolution by Canada and the IAPH encouraging voluntary cooperation between the port and shipping sectors to reduce GHG emissions from ships.
As to the final report of the correspondence group on EEDI review beyond phase 2, this recommends the acceleration and enhancement of the phase 3 EEDI requirements for new ships and the energy efficiency framework for existing ships will also be considered. Additionally, the terms of reference will be confirmed to initiate the Fourth IMO GHG Study.
Turning to matters other than GHGs, Mr Lim also alluded to:
- Consistent implementation of the 0.50 per cent global limit of sulphur content on fuel which enters into force in just over 6 months time in which he urged all stakeholders, including suppliers of fuel oil to ships, to be ready;
- Implementation of the BWM Convention, the focus of which is now on its effective and uniform implementation. At this session, some of the main issues will include the commissioning testing of BWM systems and the application of the BWM Convention to specific ship types;
- Consideration of Marine Plastic Litter issues and the IMO Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships adopted by MEPC 73 will also be an important item on the agenda at this session in which the Committee is expected to, inter alia, develop terms of reference for a study on the subject; and,
- On the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, Member States that have not already ratified or acceded to the Convention were urged to do so and thus promote its entry into force in the near future.
Winding up his welcoming address, Mr Lim referred to many other unspecified items deserving of the Committee’s attention but on which time did not permit him to elaborate, following which he wished successful deliberations to all present.
AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS. Following a comprehensive debate in Plenary, in which there were no surprises, terms of reference were drawn up for the Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments. DG1 duly tabled the results of its deliberations which were approved in general, and in particular, the Committee:
- Adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II and V concerning Electronic Record Books, plus MEPC resolution;
- Adopted draft amendments to MARPOL Annexe II related to cargo residues and tank washings of persistent floating products, plus MEPC resolution;
- Adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI related to Electronic Record Books and EEDI regulations for ice-strengthened ships, plus MEPC resolution;
- Adopted draft amendments to the NOx Technical Code, plus MEPC resolution;
- Noted that the NOx Technical Code 2008 may require a review of paragraphs making reference to record books when next amended, based on the inclusion of a new definition for Electronic Record Book in the Code, once adopted;
- Adopted draft amendments to the IBC Code, plus associated MEPC resolution;
- Noted that the temperature class ranges set out in paragraph 126.96.36.199.1 of the IBC Code Chapter 21 are not consistent with the latest IEC standards and need review when chapter 21 is next amended;
- Noted that a revision of circular MSC-MEPC.5/Circ.7 setting out Guidance on the timing of replacement of the entry into force of amendments to chapters 17 and 18 of the IBC Code may be required, referring the matter to ESPH 25 for consideration;
- Adopted draft amendments to the BCH Code, plus MEPC resolution;
- Authorised the Secretariat, when preparing the authentic texts of amendments, to effect any editorial corrections that may be identified.
HARMFUL AQUATIC ORGANISMS IN BALLAST WATER. The Committee, having recalled that the BWM Convention had entered into force on 8 September 2017, noted that the number of Contracting Governments is currently 81, which represents 80.76% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage. It was also noted that the Secretariat has developed a new tab to accommodate the experience-building phase in the BWM module in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS), structured in accordance with the interfaces in the approved data gathering and analysis plan, BWM.2/Circ.67.
In light of the BWMS Code’s effective date of 13 October 2019, a draft updated unified interpretation of Appendix I (Form of the International Ballast Water Management Certificate) of the BWM Convention was approved by means of BWM.2/Circ.66/Rev.1 which the Secretariat was instructed to circulate.
A submission by the Bahamas proposing to amend regulation E-1 of the BWM Convention as well as the BWMS Code in order to clarify the conduct of statutory surveys for BWMS, was supported by all who took the floor, including the proposal to make statutory surveys for BWMS commissioning testing mandatory.
Due to time constraints, the Committee instructed the Ballast Water Review Group to consider the proposals in documents MEPC 74: /13,/18,/19/ and /20 and advise the Committee accordingly, without any prior discussion in plenary, as alluded to on page 1 of this report. The delegations of the Russian Federation and Turkey expressed concerns with this approach, noting that the proposals entailed potential amendments to the BWM Convention that should be considered in Plenary first.
The Committee noted that a new column has been added to the GISIS module on port reception facilities allowing Member States to provide information as to the availability of facilities in their ports. This is an optional facility in GISIS given that the BWM Convention does not have any requirement for provision of such information.
Appropriate terms of reference were given to the Ballast Water Review Group (RG 1) and having considered the subsequent RG 1 report, the Committee approved it in general and took actions as follows:
- Approved BWM.2/Circ.67/Rev.1 on the revised Data gathering and analysis plan for the experience-building phase associated with the BWM Convention;
- Approved the draft amendments to the form of the International BWM Certificate;
- Endorsed the view that commissioning testing should begin as soon as possible in accordance with BWM.2/Circ.70 and to reflect this in the resolution by which the relevant amendments to mandatory instruments would be adopted;
- Endorsed the view that commissioning testing should not be applicable to ships that have already installed a BWMS and are certified for compliance with regulation D-2;
- Confirmed that the analysis undertaken in the context of commissioning testing would be indicative and reflect this in the resolution;
- Invited submissions to PPR 7 concerning proposals on any changes to BWM.2/Circ.70 in light of the draft amendments to regulation E-1;
- Approved the draft amendments to regulation E-1 of the BWM Convention, instructing the Secretariat to circulate them with a view to adoption by MEPC 75;
- Concurred with RG 1’s view that there is no need for any amendment to the Code;
- Invited interested delegations to submit proposals for the development of a standard for verification of BW compliance monitoring systems to PPR 7;
- Concurred with the Group’s view that regulations A-3 to A-5 of the BWM Convention should not be amended at this stage;
- Invited proposals for guidance on options other than a BWMS for compliance with the BWM Convention, taking into account the views expressed at this session;
- Endorsed the view that no further guidance on the PWAR (Ports with Acceptable Risk) and PreOBWTS (Pre-loading Onshore Ballast Water Treatment System) concepts is necessary and could be pursued by Nigeria and other parties; and,
- Re-established the review Group at MEPC 75, in accordance with the provisions of regulation D-5 of the BWM Convention.
AIR POLLUTION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI. The committee noted that PPR 6 had agreed to the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to support consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit, as set out in annex 10 to document PPR 6/20/Add.1. In a joint submission by IBIA and IPIECA, concern was expressed that the proposed amendments on the revised sulphur verification process in appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI (aimed at simplifying the sulphur verification process for the MARPOL delivered sample), would have unintended consequences. This would lead to increased risk since ships, having purchased compliant fuel, might be alleged as having procured non-compliant fuel without further legal recourse to challenge the allegation. Solutions to address the perceived problem were suggested. Some delegations contested this view whilst others agreed that it needs to be considered further since there is a risk that compliant fuel oil could be declared non-compliant and therefore it would be best to apply the 95% confidence interval for the MARPOL sample as agreed for the in-use sample. PSC officers may seek to verify compliance of the carriage ban by testing the MARPOL sample and a single laboratory test could render the ship non-compliant even if the BDN indicates otherwise; abandoning the two-stage procedure set out in ISO 4259 goes against what has been accepted practice for many years. The matter was duly passed to WG 1 for its consideration.
Following the discussion above on draft amendments to Marpol Annex VI, extensive Plenary debate took place on the following topics:
- Draft guidance for port State control on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel-oil, which WG 1 was instructed to finalise;
- Verification procedures for a MARPOL Annex VI fuel oil sample in which WG 1 was instructed to finalise a draft MEPC circular, taking into account decisions taken and comments made in Plenary;
- A PPR 6 draft MEPC circular on 2019 guidelines for on board sampling verification of the sulphur content of the fuel used on board ships which was approved;
- Approval of another PPR 6 developed draft joint circular addressing the delivery of compliant fuel oil by suppliers subject to concurrence by MSC 101;
- Review of the 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems following which WG 1 was instructed to finalise a draft circular concerning guidance on temporary indication of ongoing compliance in the case of the failure of a single monitoring instrument, and recommended actions to take if the EGCS fails to meet the provisions of the Guidelines;
- Fuel oil quality, instructing WG 1 to finalise the draft guidance for best practice for Member State/coastal State;
- Enhancement of the implementation of regulation 18 of MARPOL Annex VI, in particular on fuel oil quality and reporting of non-availability of compliant fuel oils including the enhancement of the GISIS MARPOL Annex VI module to support data collection and analysis;
- IMO sulphur monitoring programme, noting that the outcome of the worldwide average sulphur content survey of marine fuel oils for use on board ships for 2018 was 2.59% and that for distillate fuel oil, 0.08%;
- Impact on the Arctic of emissions of Black Carbon from international shipping in which draft terms of reference on reducing the impact were overwhelmingly supported for further consideration by PPR 7;
- MARPOL Annex VI NOx Tier III requirements for large yachts seeking a [further] five-year exemption to develop the technology to enable them to comply with NOx Tier III which was not supported;
- The final Report of the Correspondence Group on EEDI Review Beyond Phase 2 submitted by the coordinator, Japan in document MEPC 74/5/2 included recommendations for the start year(s) and reduction rate(s) for EEDI phase 3 requirements and the introduction of possible EEDI phase 4 requirements, which was later agreed as the subject of a CG coordinated by Japan. Following consideration, WG 1 was instructed to finalise draft amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained EEDI for new ships (resolution MEPC.308(73)), using annex 2 of document MEPC 74/5/2 as a basis, with a view to adoption at this session;
- Shaft Power Limitation and minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions. Following consideration, further information and concrete proposals on shaft power limitation as set out in document MEPC 74/5/5 were invited; and,
- Documents deferred to MEPC 75. Owing to time constraints, five major documents and one INF paper were deferred to MEPC 75.
Report of the Working Group (WG 1) on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency. The Committee considered the report of WG 1, approving it in general, and in particular;
- Approved the draft amendments to regulations 1, 2, 14 and 18, appendix I and appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI, with a view to adoption at MEPC 75;
- Adopted the draft resolution on 2019 Guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI;
- Adopted the draft MEPC resolution on 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI;
- Approved the draft MEPC circular on Guidance for port State control on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel oil;
- Approved the draft MEPC circular on Early application of the approved amendments to the verification procedures for a MARPOL Annex VI fuel oil sample;
- Noted the comments made on the potential need for developing additional guidance on how to conduct the evaluation of testing results by competent authorities in a uniform and consistent way;
- Approved the draft MEPC circular on Guidance pertaining to ongoing compliance in the case of the failure of a single monitoring instrument, and recommended actions to take if the EGC fails to meet the provisions of the Guidelines;
- Endorsed the Group’s decision to recommend that the proposed example of a bunker supply licence contained in the annex to document MEPC 74/5/4 should be kept for consideration at a future meeting (e.g. PPR 7 or MEPC 75), as early as possible;
- Approved the draft MEPC circular on Guidance for Best practice for Member State/coastal State;
- Approved the draft amendments to regulation 20 of MARPOL Annex VI, with a view to adoption at MEPC 75;
- Adopted the draft MEPC resolution on amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, except for Section 4, which will be held in abeyance until MEPC 75; and,
- Approved the draft amendments to table 1 and table 2 of regulation 21 of MARPOL Annex VI, with a view to adoption at MEPC 75.
REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS FROM SHIPS. The Committee recalled that MEPC 72 had adopted resolution MEPC.304(72) on ‘Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’ (the Initial Strategy) and that MEPC 73 had approved its programme of follow-up actions up to the year 2023. Discussion of related items that followed, included:
- An update on UNFCC matters which included a summary of the UNFCC Climate Change Conference held in December 2018, the development of the Katowice Climate Package, the priorities for COP 25 in light of the outcome of COP 21 in Paris, and the importance of IMO continuing to report its work on reducing GHG emissions from international maritime transport;
- The need to establish a voluntary multi-donor trust fund to sustain the Organisation’s technical cooperation and capacity-building activities to support the implementation of the Initial Strategy was recognised, resulting in a long discussion. Following on from this, the Committee approved the terms of reference for the establishment of the “GHG TC-Trust Fund”, inviting Member States and international organisations to contribute accordingly;
- Consideration of possible future working arrangements to support the follow-up actions of the Initial Strategy resulted in expressions of concern with regard to participation by SIDS and LDCs in the future work on reduction of GHG emissions from ships and an agreement to invite the Council to note the discussion in documents MEPC 74/7/12 and MEPC 74/7/13. Approval was given for a sixth intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 6) from 11 to 15 November 2019 whilst proposing a seventh, back-to-back with MEPC 75 in April 2020, both of which are subject to endorsement by the Council.
- Terms of reference were drawn up for a Fourth IMO GHG Study which will be subject of a progress report to MEPC 75 and final report to MEPC 76 in the Autumn of 2020. The Secretariat will initiate the tender for the study as soon as possible and the Secretary-General IMO will invite candidacy from Member States to form a Steering Committee and which will be geographically balanced;
- A draft MEPC resolution on encouragement of voluntary cooperation between the port and shipping sectors to reduce GHG emissions from ships was adopted. It includes (a) Onshore Power Supply; (b) Safe and efficient bunkering of sustainable low and zero-carbon fuels; (c) Incentives promoting sustainable low and zero-carbon shipping; and, (d) Support for the optimization of port calls;
- Recalling the Initial Strategy which identified that the impacts on States of a measure should be assessed and taken into account as appropriate before its adoption, the Committee instructed WG 2 to finalise the draft procedure for assessing such impacts;
- Following quite a lengthy discussion on consideration of concrete proposals on candidate short-term measures referred to in the Initial Strategy, due consideration was given to seven submissions. In his summing up, the Chairman invited the Committee to note that all measures would be considered further for implementation before 2023 to achieve the 2030 goal, that the measures should be practicable, implementable and verifiable and if mandatory, would be within MARPOL Annex VI. Measures should also be balanced and global in nature. The Committee also noted that proposed measures should be goal-based and include energy efficiency measures for existing ships, speed optimization and reduction, alternative fuels and national action plans. WG 2 was then instructed to consider, organize and streamline proposals on candidate short-term measures, with a view to identify those that could be further developed and finalized in the following sessions;
- Concrete proposals on candidate mid-/long-term measures attracted 2 submissions which were duly discussed and following this, the Committee instructed WG 2 to consider such proposals, focussing on the effective uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, and advise the committee on how best to progress the work
On receipt of its terms of reference, WG 2 withdrew from Plenary and commenced its work in line with the terms of reference drawn up by the Committee. Notwithstanding the limited time available, WG 2s report to the Committee was approved in general and in particular, the Committee:
- Noted the six outstanding issues considered by the Group before finalisation of the draft Procedure for assessing impacts on States of candidate measures;
- Approved the draft MEPC circular on Procedure for assessing impacts on States of candidate measures;
- Noted the Group’s consideration of concrete proposals on candidate mid-/long-term measures, focussing on the effective uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels;
- Noted that due to time constraints, the Group could not consider the development of further actions on capacity-building, technical cooperation, research and development, including support for assessment of impacts and support for implementation of measures; and,
- Approved the draft terms of reference for the sixth and seventh meetings of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.
FOLLOW-UP WORK EMANATING FROM THE ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS MARINE PLASTIC LITTER FROM SHIPS. The Committee recalled that MEPC 73 had adopted the ‘Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships’ and agreed to review the measures at MEPC 74, based on follow-up proposals. It was further recalled that MEPC 73 had established a CG on the subject, instructing it to identify issues to be considered under an IMO study, determining the most appropriate mechanism to undertake the study , and to develop a regulatory framework matrix in which all international regulatory instruments and best practices associated with the issue of marine plastic litter from ships could be identified.
Having considered the Correspondence Group report, the Committee instructed WG 3 to:
- Develop terms of reference for an IMO Study on marine plastic litter from ships, taking into account document MEPC 74/8, and advise the Committee on the appropriate modalities for the conduct of such a study;
- Update the regulatory framework matrix set out in annex 3 to document MEPC 74/8, subject to additional information being presented;
- Consider how the work associated with the Action Plan can be advanced, taking into account document MEPC 74/8/2 proposing to develop an IMO strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships, and advise the Committee accordingly;
- Further consider document MEPC 74/8/3 and advise the Committee how best to proceed; and,
- Submit a written report to Plenary by Thursday, 16 May 2019.
Document MEPC 74/8/2 proposes , inter alia, the development of an IMO strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships, with a view to guiding, monitoring and overseeing the implementation of the Action Plan, and which received wide-ranging support in Plenary. Document MEPC 74/8/3 regarding the accidental loss or discharge of fishing gear also achieved general support. Comments were offered that the strategy should be pragmatic and achievable, and that it could be a consolidated document with background, objectives, a schematic timeline and a categorisation table of short, mid and long-term actions.
Following deliberation by WG 3 and examination of its report by the Committee, approval was given to it in general and, in particular, the Committee:
- Noted the information from the GESAMP Working Group on sea-based sources of marine litter (GESAMP WG 43 which aims to deliver its first report in early 2020 followed by a second later that year);
- Noted WG 3’s agreement that the IMO Study should not duplicate GESAMP work, rather it should build on the reports and analyses of GESAMP and other organisations;
- Noted that the draft TORs for the IMO Study on Marine Plastic Study from Ships can be divided into two broad elements: information on the contribution of all ships to marine plastic litter and, information on storage, delivery and reception of plastic waste from, and collected by, ships;
- Invited FAO to make information on fishing gear marking and logging schemes available to MEPC and/or GESAMP and collaborate with IMO in advising on voluntary or mandatory application of marking fishing gear, including costs;
- Requested the Secretariat to include the outcomes of investigations of reports of alleged port reception facility inadequacies to the III Sub-Committee, with a view to facilitating the identification of themes relating to the delivery and handling of plastic waste;
- Approved draft terms of reference for the IMO Study on Marine Plastic Litter from Ships;
- Concurred that subject to funding being available, procuring the services of one or more contractors to undertake the Study is preferable;
- Concurred with the recommendations that the Study should be seen as a priority and that, subject to additional financial contributions, the term of reference relating to storage, delivery and reception of plastic waste from ships should also be undertaken;
- Invited Member States and other stakeholders to make financial contributions towards the costs of the Study in addition to providing relevant information;
- Noted that, subject to sufficient funding, GESAMP WG 43 will begin work in addressing TORs 1 and 2 in respect of reviewing and analysing the existing body of knowledge on marine plastic litter from all sea based sources, and an assessment of data gaps;
- Recognise the importance of GESAMP work in progressing the Study and provide a report on WG 43s work to MEPC 75, as well as an accompanying presentation;
- Agreed that the Secretariat should issue an invitation to tender for TORs 1 and 2 of the Study as soon as funding is forthcoming, noting that GESAMP’s work should not be duplicated;
- Requested GESAMP to review TOR 3 to determine any additional work that it could undertake to progress the work;
- Invited Member States and international organisations to provide relevant information for inclusion in the regulatory framework matrix and for the Secretariat to update it, keeping the Committee informed of such updates;
- Authorised the Secretariat to make the matrix available on the IMO website for reference only;
- Noted Group discussion with regards to the potential benefits of a central depository pertaining to the accidental loss or discharge of fishing gear by flag States;
- Noted the Group’s view that amendments to MARPOL Annex V to require reporting of accidental loss or discharges of fishing gear to the Organisation and the establishment of a new module within GISIS to facilitate reporting, should be considered at a later stage;
- Approved the scope of work for the PPR Sub-Committee in relation to facilitating and enhancing reporting of the accidental loss or discharge of fishing gear, as currently provided in regulation 10.6 of MARPOL Annex V;
- Invited FAO to submit relevant information on existing reporting mechanisms of lost or discharged fishing gear to future sessions of MEPC or the PPR Sub-Committee and for Member States and international organisations to do likewise with PPR. This would encompass the challenges and benefits of such systems, help to clarify loss details and explore potential ways of encouraging fishing vessels to report;
- Noted the progress made by the Group in advancing the work associated with the Action Plan (resolution MEPC.310(73)), through the development of elements for inclusion in a strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships;
- Concurred that the preferred way for progressing items 10 and 11 of the Action Plan relating to mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea, is for Member States and international organisations to submit proposals for a new output to MSC;
- Requested the CCC and NCSR Sub-Committees to note the importance of lost containers at sea in addressing marine plastic litter from ships;
- Instructed the Secretariat to exchange information with UN Environment, FAO, IOC of UNESCO and other UN bodies on progress with the implementation of the plan;
- Concurred that the preferred way of addressing items 29 of the Action Plan concerning responsibility and liability for plastic goods lost at sea, is for interested parties to submit documents to the Legal Committee;
- Noted the grouping of short-, mid-, long-term and continuous actions from the Action Plan;
- Noted the timeline of follow-up actions from the Action Plan;
- Approved the scope for the follow-up work emanating from the Action Plan, added to the provisional agenda of PPR 7, with four sessions in which to complete the work;
- Approved the scope for the follow-up work emanating from the Action Plan, added to the provisional agenda of III, with two sessions to complete the work;
- Approved the scope of work for HTW in relation to training aspects of the Action Plan; and,
- Noting that due to time constraints the Group had not managed to finalise the draft Strategy, the Committee agreed to establish a correspondence group. Terms of reference instructed the group to finalise a draft Strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships, taking into account document MEPC 74/8/2 and using the Action Plan to address plastic litter from ships (resolution MEPC.310(73)) and annexes 2 and 3 to document MEPC 74/WP.10 as a basis; and, submit a written report to MEPC 75
POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE. The Committee approved, in general, the report of the sixth session of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and response
(PPR 6). However, there was one contentious item concerning Draft amendments to the AFS Convention, for In its document MEPC 74/10/9, Japan proposed the deletion of the draft provisions requiring the removal or sealing of existing antifouling systems containing cybutryne, whilst further expressing the view that retrospective requirements to mandate blasting or applying sealer coatings to all ships that have applied the anti-fouling system in the past needs further careful consideration.
In the course of discussion, many delegations supported the inclusion of cybutryne in Annex 1 to the AFS Convention without exceptions based on its negative environmental effects whilst others pointed out that the deletion of provisions requiring the removal or sealing of existing AFS containing cybutryne was in conflict with article 4(2) of the AFS Convention. Many delegations were of the view that the concerns raised in Japan’s document concerning
the health and safety risk involved in blasting, and the uncertainty over availability of effective sealer coats for AFS containing cybutryne were valid. Regarding concerns over the availability of such sealer coats, the Committee noted the intervention by the observer from IPPIC indicating that existing sealer coats for AFS containing organotin may be effective in sealing cybutryne , and that other approaches for sealing cybutryne may also exist (e.g. overcoating with tie coats, primers and other antifouling coatings). However, as evidence is required to ensure that the product supplied would be fully effective in preventing cybutryne loss from the underlying coating, more time is required to establish such a case and the Committee agreed to defer amendments to Annex 1 of the AFS Convention for further consideration at PPR 7.
Finally on the subject of PPR 6, the Committee approved the Guide on practical methods for the implementation of the OPRC Convention and OPRC-HNS Protocol as set out in annex 17 to document PPR 6/20/Add.1 and requested the Secretariat to prepare the Guide for publication.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
The next meeting, MEPC 75, has been tentatively scheduled to take place during April 2020 .
Captain Paddy McKnight End