IMO MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE 16 – 20 NOVEMBER 2020

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee held its 75th Session (MEPC 75) remotely from Monday 16 through Friday 20 November 2020 under the Chairmanship of Mr Hideako Saito (JAPAN) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Harry Conway (LIBERIA), both of whom were re-elected for 2020.

 

1200 delegates registered for the meeting, comprising 104 Member States, Associates, UN and Special Agencies, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental organisations.  The InterManager delegation was assisted by Associate Member SGS, five in number whose prime interest was that of item 4, ‘Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water’.

This was at times a fractious meeting where Member States (and Industry NGOs) appeared to have different priorities such that compromise was not easy to achieve.  The item on ‘Reduction of GHG emissions from ships’, took up three of the allotted five working days.

Following the Secretary-General’s welcoming address, the delegation of France, on behalf of the delegations of Germany, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, supported by the delegation of Malaysia, made a statement related to the risk of major oil spill posed by the FSO (floating storage and offloading unit) SAFER anchored off the Yemeni western port of Ras Issa, calling on IMO Member States to take urgent action to prevent an imminent disaster.

 

DECISIONS OF OTHER BODIES.  Having noted the decisions and outcomes taken by IMOs various Committees, Sub-Committees and Council with regard to its work, achieved by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting, the Committee agreed to take action as appropriate under the relevant agenda items.

 

CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS.  The Committee considered this item during the virtual meeting and was invited to adopt proposed amendments to:

  • MARPOL Annex VI, concerning procedures for sampling and verification of the sulphur content and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI); and,
  • The Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention) concerning commissioning testing of BWM systems and the form of the International BWM Certificate.

 

Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI.  The Committee recalled that MEPC 74 had considered and approved draft amendments with a view to adoption at this session.  Three documents commenting on the draft amendments were submitted by Japan, the Republic of Korea and IACS.  Some of the editorial modifications proposed by Japan aimed at bringing greater precision to the description of certain terms and the application of the amendments were accepted, however the proposals submitted by the Republic of Korea and IACS were not.  Having noted that IACS had also proposed that the reporting of attained EEDI and related information for passenger ships, other than ro-ro passenger ships and cruise passenger ships with non-conventional propulsion, should not be covered by the new draft regulation 20.3 of MARPOL Annex VI, the Committee invited IACS to submit a document on this issue to MEPC 76 for consideration at that session under the item “Energy efficiency of ships”.  CESA was invited to do so likewise regarding the application of phase 3 EEDI.

Following a statement by IBIA urging the early application of the draft amendments concerning a revised procedure for sampling and verification of the sulphur content, prior to the date of entry into force, to ensure a more consistent and harmonised approach in the context of implementation of 0.5% sulphur content requirements, the drafting group was instructed to prepare the final text of the requisite MEPC resolution, together with the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI.

Draft amendments to the BWM Convention.  The Committee recalled that MEPC 74 had considered and approved draft amendments to the BWM Convention regarding commissioning testing of BWM systems and the form of the International BWM Certificate with a view to adoption at this session.  In view of MEPC 75s postponement, it was agreed that the deemed acceptance date should be 1 December 2021 and the date of entry into force, 1 June 2022.

Establishment of the virtual Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments.  Appropriate terms of reference were given to the Drafting Group and in consideration of the DGs subsequent report, the Committee:

  • Concurred with the addition of a new operative paragraph in the resolution of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, making reference to MEPC.1/Circ.882 which invites early application of the amendments;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, concerning procedures for sampling and verification of the sulphur content and the EEDI;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to the BWM Convention concerning regulation E-1 and Appendix I;
  • Authorised the Secretariat to effect any editorial corrections; and,
  • Approved the report in general.

HARMFUL AQUATIC ORGANISMS IN BALLAST WATER.  In accordance with the arrangements for the remote session, the Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the virtual meeting, a total of 22 documents.  During the virtual meeting, the Committee reconfirmed the endorsement of the Chairs proposals as follows:

 

  • Extended the original Final Approvals of the EcoGuardian BWM, the Hi Ballast, the Electro-Cleen, the BALPURE and the NK-023 BlueBallast II Plus, BWMS systems for use in fresh water;
  • Granted Final Approval to the CleanBallast-Ocean Barrier and the SeaCURE BWMS systems; and,
  • As recommended by GESAMP-BWWG, final approval was not granted to the FlowSafe BWM system but it will be examined again at GESAMP’s next meeting.

 

Type approval of ballast water management systems.  The Committee noted that the Secretariat had restructured the list of approved BWM systems on the IMO website at:

(http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/BallastWaterManagement/Pages/BWMTechnologies.aspx) to distinguish those systems that are type approved in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines for approval of BWM systems (G8) or the code for Approval of BWM Systems (BWMS Code). Member States were invited to submit information on Type Approval Certificates that may have been updated in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines (G8) or the BWMS Code.

AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION.  The Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the meeting, the following documents:

 

  • MEPC 75/5/8 (Secretariat), providing information on the monitoring programme of the worldwide average sulphur content of fuel oil supplies for use on board ships after 1 January 2020; and proposing amendments to the 2010 Guidelines for same;
  • MEPC 75/5/9 (Secretariat), presenting the results of the monitoring programme for 2019;
  • MEPC 76/INF.27 (ICOMIA) providing an overview of the NOx Tier III requirements set out in regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI on large yachts greater than 24m load-line length and less than 500GT; and,
  • MEPC 75.INF.28 (United States) providing additional information related to a delayed application of Tier III NOx limits for marine diesel engines installed in recreational vessels greater than 24m load-line length and less than 500GT.

 

IMO monitoring programme of the worldwide average sulphur content of fuel oils supplied.  The Committee noted the information in document MEPC 75/5/9 by the Secretariat with regard to the outcome of the monitoring of the worldwide average sulphur content of residual and distillate fuel oils supplied for use on board ships throughout 2019 and adopted an MEPC resolution for similar 2020 Guidelines.  Following comment by correspondence from Germany, the Committee noted that distillate fuel and residual fuel will continue to be reported and displayed separately under the 2020 Guidelines.

 

MARPOL Annex VI NOx Tier III requirements for large yachts.  The Committee noted the information given in documents INF.27 and INF.28 referred to above, providing an update on implementation of the Tier III NOx emissions regulations for large yachts.  The delegation of Italy informed the Committee of the difficulties faced by the yachting sector in complying with the Tier III NOx emission standards by the agreed deadline of January 2021, mostly due to a current lack of compliant engines to be installed in newly built yachts, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Establishment of a Correspondence Group on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency.  The Committee established a CG on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency under the coordination of Japan.  The terms of reference of the CG are outlined as follows:

 

  • Review the indicative example of a licence for fuel oil supply and consider annexing it to the Guidance for best practice for Member State/coastal State;
  • Review the draft revised MEPC circular;
  • Consider the proxies proposed in MEPC 74/6, 6/1 and 6/3, and consider draft amendments to appendix IX on Information to be submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database of MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Consider for inclusion in the annual report to the Committee, the performance indicators set out in the annex to document MEPC 74/6/2;
  • Further consider the proposal for shaft power limitation (set out in a variety of submissions) with a view to developing a work plan to progress the work on the shaft power limitation concept and advise the Committee accordingly;
  • Finalise the revision of the interim power guidelines contained in MEPC.1/Circ.850/Rev.2;
  • Finalise the draft amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships;
  • Prepare a final draft of the unified interpretation (UI), using document MEPC 75/6/7 as a basis to clarify the dates related to EEDI phase 2 and 3 for “new ships” to be issued as a new MEPC circular following the entry into force of the corresponding amendments to MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Consider whether there is a need to further clarify the ship types that are subject to the provisions for “Attained EEDI” and “Required EDI”; and,
  • Submit a written report to MEPC 76.

 

MARPOL Annex VI NOx Tier III requirements for large yachts.  As this subject applies to very few of us, if any, it is not proposed to cover it.  However, details are available separately should anyone require them.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF SHIPS.  The Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the virtual meeting, the following documents:

  • MEPC 75/6 (Secretariat), containing matters to be further considered by MEPC 74;
  • MEPC 75/6/5 (Japan), providing the interim report of the CG on Possible Introduction of EEDI phase 4, established at MEPC 74;
  • MEPC 75/INF.3 plus a Corrigendum and an Addition (Secretariat), providing the eighth summary of data and graphical representations of the information contained in the EEDI database;
  • MEPC 75/INF.8 (Japan), providing comments received during the work of the CG on Possible Introduction of EEDI Phase 4 established at MEPC 74; and,
  • MEPC 74/6/2 (IACS and OCIMF) providing information on possible analysis of data from the IMO Fuel Oil Consumption Database including identification of performance indicators and the possible further analyses that could be undertaken.

 

EEDI reviews required under regulation 21.6 of MARPOL Annex VI.  The Committee noted that data has been received from 10 recognised organisations for 6,431 ships in total (as of 3 September 2020), and that the anonymised data has been posted in the MARPOL Annex VI module of GISIS.

Interim report of the CG on Possible Introduction of EEDI Phase 4.  The Committee noted the progress made by the CG and the need to streamline effort with respect to the ongoing work in the ISWG-GHG.

REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS FROM SHIPS.  As intimated earlier, this was the major item for consideration by the Committee.  Prior to the meeting, a number of issues were considered by Correspondence as follows:

 

  • MEPC 75/7 (Secretariat) providing information on the establishment and operation of the GHG TC-Trust Fund (Greenhouse Gas Technical Cooperation Trust Fund) [The Committee noted the information provided and, in particular, that since establishment of the Fund on 2 July 2019, the Governments of Malaysia and France had provided large financial contributions];
  • MEPC 75/7/1 (Secretariat) providing the outcome of the United Nations Climate Action summit, held in New York on 23 September 2019; [noted by the Committee];
  • MEPC 75/7/5 (Indonesia), providing comments on document MEPC 75/7 and proposing blended finance to support the establishment and operation of the GHG-TC Trust Fund [noted by the Committee which invited interested Member States and international organisations to provide their further comments and experience on concepts relating to “blending financing”];
  • MEPC 75/7/6 (Secretariat), providing the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Madrid in December (COP 25); [noted by the Committee]; and,
  • MEPC 75/INF.22 (Secretariat), on Just In Time Arrival Guide – Barriers and solutions [the Committee noted that the Just In Time Arrival Guide developed by the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) established under the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP Project has been finalised, as set out in INF.22].

 

Sixth meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 6).  The Committee noted that the Intersessional Working Group had finalised the draft resolution on encouragement of Member States to develop and submit voluntary National Action Plans to address GHG emissions from ships and instructed the Secretariat to facilitate the sharing of the submitted Plans by developing a dedicated page on the IMO website.

 

Seventh meeting of ISWG-GHG.  The seventh meeting of the ISWG-GHG was held remotely form 19 to 23 October 2020 and its report submitted to MEPC 75 as a Working Paper (WP. 3).  Having considered the report and the additional information provided orally by the Chair of the Group, Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway), the Committee approved it in general and took action as follows:

 

Further consideration of draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to reduce the carbon intensity of existing ships.  The discussion of the Intersessional Working Group on its development of draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to reduce the carbon intensity of existing ships was noted.  In this context, the Committee also noted that a number of documents submitted to MEPC 75 had been considered during ISWG-GHG 7, in addition to those submitted to the Intersessional meeting.  These were:

 

  • MEPC 75/6/9 (INTERFERRY) arguing that requiring existing ro-ro type ships to match the perceived performance of new designs needs to be carefully considered;
  • MEPC 75 (IPTA), which provided comments on operational factors affecting fuel oil consumption in the chemical/parcel tanker sector, highlighting the diverse nature of the trade and the differing operational demands placed on fuel consumption by the varied products carried. This makes it extremely difficult to produce accurate records of such ships’ carbon intensity, and flexibility in the measures adopted will be necessary in order to ensure that compliance is monitored in the most appropriate way for the ship in question;
  • MEPC 75/7/9 (Pacific Environment and CSC), assessing the potential for engine power limitation (EPL) to reduce CO2 emissions from the existing fleet. Based on the results of a new study, it concludes that EPL as currently envisaged is not fit for purpose as a short-term measure to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping; and,
  • MEPC 75/INF.24(Pacific Environment and CSC) giving the key findings of their new study on the effectiveness of EPL as a measure to reduce CO2 emissions from existing ships whilst providing the complete study in an annex.

 

The Committee considered the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to reduce the carbon intensity of existing ships as set out by the Working Group at Annex 1 to document MEPC 75/WP3.  In the lengthy ensuing discussion, many delegations expressed their support to approve the short-term GHG reduction measures as set out in the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI combining EEXI, SEEMP and CII rating; they claimed that this new measure would provide a good balance enabling international shipping to achieve at least 40% carbon intensity reduction by 2030 compared with 2008, in line with the Initial GHG Strategy while allowing for gathering further information.

Many other delegations, while underlining the importance of urgently finalising consideration of the short-term GHG measures and supporting its approval at this session as an important first and concrete step towards implementation of the Initial GHG Strategy, also expressed the view that the measure lacked ambition, in addition to strong enforcement and sanctions, and would not sufficiently penalise poorly rated ships nor incentivise fast-movers or a rapid uptake of energy-efficient ships and technologies, which would in turn have a negative impact leading to national or regional emission reduction measures.

Regardless, many delegations felt that the draft amendments represented a compromise that was the result of a complex but fruitful negotiation among Member States and acknowledged that the combined short-term measure, in particular the enhanced SEEMP and the rating mechanism, provided a solid regulatory framework which the Organisation could build upon in the future, including when considering possible mid to long-term measures.

In considering the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, many delegations stated that, with a view to adoption of the short term measure, it would be essential to undertake its comprehensive assessment on States, in particular but not limited to, developing countries, notably SIDS and LDCs, in accordance with the Initial IMO GHG Strategy.  They also felt that the draft amendments and the terms of reference of the possible impacts of the short-term measure on States should be approved as a package.

The delegations of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, supported by WWF, CSC and Pacific Environment, highlighted the urgency of substantial climate action, expressed disappointment regarding the draft amendments which, in their view, would fail to peak GHG emissions from international shipping quickly enough and not achieve GHG emissions reduction before 2023; and not put international shipping on a CO2 emissions reduction pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals. They therefore suggested that the measure should not be approved at this session, but instead be revised and strengthened for adoption at MEPC 76, and called upon the Organisation to urgently consider market-based measures, notably using carbon pricing as a basis.

 

Concluding the discussion, and taking cognizance of the many views expressed, the Committee approved the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping with a view to adoption at MEPC 76.  In preparing the requisite draft MEPC Resolution, the Committee requested the Secretariat to include the following text:

 

  • Invite the Organisation, mindful of the review clauses provided in regulations 21A.3 and 22B.11 of the aforesaid amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, to initiate this review as early as possible;
  • Invite also the Parties to consider and initiate as soon as possible the development of a Carbon Intensity Code;
  • Invite further the Organisation to keep the impacts of the aforesaid amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, especially small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs), under review so that any necessary adjustments can be made; and,
  • Encourage the Parties to consider early application of the aforesaid amendments.

 

The Committee instructed the Secretariat to review the amendments from a drafting point of view and to effect any editorial corrections that may be identified.  It was further instructed to prepare the draft amendments on the short-term measure in the form of a draft revised MARPOL Annex VI, incorporating all previous amendments.

 

Assessment of impacts on States.  The Committee noted the discussion of the Intersessional Working Group on the assessment of impacts on States and considered the draft terms of reference and arrangements for the conduct of a comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term measure before MEPC 76.  In the ensuing discussion, many delegations stressed the need to consider the draft amendments and the assessment of their impacts on States as a package; and that accordingly MEPC 76 should consider the draft amendments for adoption and the outcome of the comprehensive impact assessment as a package.  However, given the current pandemic which has led to business and job reductions, the potential increase of shipping costs could have a significant impact on many countries unless appropriate mitigation measures are taken.

Following deliberation, the Committee approved the terms of reference and arrangements for the conduct of a comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term measure and instructed the Secretariat to initiate the impact assessment having established a Steering Committee, with a view to submission of a final report for consideration at MEPC 76.

The Committee noted with appreciation that the delegations of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway had all pledged large financial contributions for the conduct of the comprehensive impact assessment and invited further contributions from other interested parties so as to ensure its timely delivery.

The Cook Islands suggested that the Technical Cooperation Committee should be invited to initiate consideration on how to facilitate its involvement in identifying possible ways to assist developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDs, by means of, inter alia, additional technical cooperation or resource mobilisation, in mitigating negative impacts, if any, resulting from the comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term measure.  The proposal gathered support, with the understanding that the TCC would take follow-up actions resulting from the assessment after adoption of the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI at MEPC 76.  However, whilst seeing the value in principle of the involvement of the TCC, some delegations stressed that such involvement must not impact the agreed timelines on the conduct of the comprehensive impact assessment and the adoption of the short-term measure at MEPC 76.

Following consideration, the Committee agreed to invite TC 70 to initiate discussions on the above proposal as outlined by the Cook Islands.

 

Development of draft associated guidelines and carbon intensity code plus associated work plan.  The Committee noted the discussion of the Intersessional Working Group on the development of draft associated guidelines and a carbon intensity code with its associated work plan.  In this regard, ISWG-GHG7 had agreed to the urgency of finalising the draft guidelines and that in order to provide clarity on mandatory requirements and the recommendatory nature of the Guidelines, had agreed on the need to develop a mandatory carbon intensity code.

 

Establishment of a correspondence group.  The Committee established a Correspondence Group on the Development of Technical Guidelines on Carbon Intensity Reduction, under the joint coordination of China, Japan and the European Commission and issued it with compatible terms of reference.

 

Draft terms of reference for the eighth meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions of Ships (ISWG-GHG 8).  The Committee approved the holding of the eighth intersessional meeting of the ISWG-GHG before MEPC 76.  The ISWG was instructed, taking into account documents submitted to ISWG-GHG 8 and the CG on the Development of Technical Guidelines on carbon intensity reduction, and relevant documents submitted to ISWG-GHG 6 and 7, and MEPC 75, to essentially:

 

  • Finalise the draft technical guidelines supporting the EEXI framework;
  • Further consider and finalise the main technical guidelines supporting the CII framework for voluntary application first until 1 January 2026;
  • Further consider, with a view to finalising, the update of the 2016 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Plan (SEEMP) including incorporation of a development plan of corrective actions and verification requirements of SEEMP;
  • Consider concrete proposals for the update of existing guidelines, procedures and guidance;
  • Identify a preliminary list of technical guidelines supporting chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI that could be consolidated into a mandatory carbon intensity code; and
  • Submit a written report to MEPC 7;

 

In considering the draft TORs for ISWG-GHG 8, a number of delegations recalled that ISWG-GHG 7 had been unable to address the full TORs as approved by MEPC 74 as it had focussed on item 1 of those TORs, namely draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to reduce the carbon intensity of ships.  Consequently, this left a need to urgently consider the remaining agenda items, in particular the concrete proposals to reduce methane slip and emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and to encourage the uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, including the development of life cycle GHG/carbon intensity guidelines for all relevant types of fuels.

 

Fourth IMO GHG Study 2020.  The Committee had for its consideration a number of documents, six to be precise.  In the ensuing discussion, all delegations that spoke, expressed their appreciation to the consortium who did the work, to the Steering Committee that oversaw the development of the Study and coordination of the work, led by Mr Harry Conway of Liberia, and recommended the approval of the Study at this session.  Many delegations commended the scientific quality of the Fourth Study, stating that it represented a significant improvement in terms of completeness, accuracy and reliability compared to previous studies and that it would represent an important tool, together with other relevant sources such as fuel consumption data, to better inform future policy making by the Organisation.  Others pointed out the limited decrease of GHG emissions from international shipping since 2008, the slow-down in improving carbon intensity since 2012, and the projected further increase of GHG emissions as demonstrated in the Study, and consequently expressed the view that further work on mid and long-term candidate measures as well as the Initial IMO GHG Strategy should be initiated rapidly.  Concerns were expressed by some that the inventory of Black Carbon emissions was solely based on a literature review which might lead to making false assumptions when drawing conclusions.  With regard to methane emissions observed in the 2012 -2018 period, these needed to be put in context with an increasing number of dual-fuel engines installed on board gas carriers, but the use of LNG as an alternative fuel will have an overall positive effect.  Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands called for urgency on initiating discussions on mid and long-term candidate actions, in particular market-based measures, enhancing the level of ambition in Initial GHG Strategy in line with recent climate science.  A number of other delegations stated that the Committee should focus on the finalisation of technical guidelines supporting the short-term measures plus comprehensive impact assessment, in order to identify possible impacts on States before considering additional measures.

Finally, the Committee approved the Fourth IMO GHG Study 2020 and requested the Secretariat to publish and disseminate it, having made any editorial corrections beforehand.

 

Consideration of the proposal for an International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB).  The Committee had for its consideration a proposal co-sponsored by several Industry associations for the development of a research and development (R&D) programme to accelerate the introduction of low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies and fuels.  This would rely on the establishment by the Organisation of a non-governmental International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) in charge of funding , overseeing and coordinating specific R&D projects, an IMO “supervisory body” reporting to the Committee and an International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF) expected to raise approximately $5 billion over the 10 to 15 years life of the programme via a mandatory R&D contribution of fuel oil purchased for consumption.  The committee also noted document MEPC 75/INF.5 (ICS et al) providing an analysis entitled Zero-carbon fuels acceleration on what activities could be undertaken with $5 billion funding over the life of the IMRB.  Four commenting documents were tabled, one of which welcomed the proposal to establish an IMRB whist a second gave support in principle.  The third expressed the view that whilst the proposed IMRB aligned with the Initial Strategy, it was unlikely to address the specific interests of SIDs and LDCs, and the fourth stated that such a programme would need clear objectives, listing in addition a host of other obstacles that would need to be overcome.

A prolonged debate followed during which a myriad of views were expressed, rather too many for this summary report.  With many delegates in support and an equal number dissenting, it was decided to further discuss the proposal at MSC 76 for which submissions were invited.

 

POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.  The Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the virtual meeting, two documents submitted by the Secretariat.  One set out the actions requested of the Committee in connection with the urgent matters emanating from PPR 7 and the second, the remaining matters from PPR 7.  The Committee reconfirmed the Chair’s response as follows:

 

Revision of GESAMP Reports and Studies No.64.  This was finalised and published as No.102 (GESAMP Hazard Evaluation Procedure for Chemicals carried by Ships, 2019) and included a reassigned column E1 and a sub-categorisation of column C3 of the GESAMP Hazard Profile table.  In light of these refinements, the Secretariat was requested to prepare the draft consequential amendments to appendix I of MARPOL Annex II and submit them to MEPC 76, with a view to approval and subsequent circulation for adoption.

 

Replacement of International Certificates of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk.  The Committee having noted that MSC 102 had approved the draft revised MSC-MEPC.5/Circ.7 on Guidance on the timing of replacement of existing certificates by revised certificates as a consequence of the entry into force of amendments to chapters 17 and 18 of the IBC Code, concurrently approved the revised circular for dissemination as MSC-MEPC.5/Circ.7/Rev.1.

 

Evaluation of products and cleaning additives.  With regard to the categorisation of liquid substances, the Committee concurred with the evaluation of:

 

  • Products by ESPH 25 and their collective inclusion in lists 1, 3, and 5 of MEPC.2/Circ.25 (issued on 1 December 2019), with validity for all countries and with no expiry date as appropriate;
  • Cleaning additives by ESPH 25 and their inclusion in annex 10 of Circ.25; and,
  • Products and cleaning additives by the ESPH Working Group at PPR 7 and their inclusion in list 3 and annex 10, respectively, of the next revision of the MEPC.2 circular on Provisional categorisation of liquid substances in accordance with MARPOL Annex II and the IBC Code (i.e. MEPC.2/Circ.26, to be issued in December 2020), with validity for all countries and with no expiry date as appropriate.

 

The Committee endorsed PPR.1/Circ.9 on Revised carriage requirements for methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, noting that MSC had done likewise.  In addition, chapter 17 of the IBC Code will be amended to include the updated carriage requirements for these two products.  Further endorsement was given to the recommendation that the existing entries for the paraffin-like products listed in paragraph 5 of MEPC.1/Circ.886 could be retained on the ship’s Certificate of Fitness, even if the renamed and reassessed products were listed in the addendum to the ship’s Certificate, since the product names used in the IBC Code and in list 1 of the MEPC.2 circular are different.

 

Amendments to the AFS Convention to include controls on Page 11 of 13cybutrine.  Having noted the report of the Technical Group on Amendments to the AFS Convention established at PPR 7, the Committee considered the draft amendments to Annexes 1 and 4 of the Convention.  Particular focus was given to the preferred option for specifying the effective date for ships already bearing an AFS that contained cybutrine.  Since the next session of MEPC will be held in June 2021, the draft dates of entry into force of the controls of cybutrine should be amended from 1 July 2022 to 1 January 2023 for new application and from1 July 2027 to 1 January 2028 for existing application.  The Committee approved the draft amendments to Annexes 1 and 4 to the AFS Convention and in addition, requested 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 (LC-LP.1/Circ.31/Rev.1), in light of the introduction of controls on cybutrine under the AFS Convention, with a view to updating guidance.

Sampling of fuel oil.  The Committee approved a draft MEPC circular on the 2020 Guidelines for on board sampling of fuel oil intended to be used or carried for use on board a ship.

Commissioning testing of ballast water management systems.  Approval was given to the revised Guidance for the commissioning testing of BWMS systems and the Secretariat was instructed to disseminate it as BWM.2/Circ.70/Rev.1.  Furthermore, the III Sub-Committee, in the context of the new revision of the Survey guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), was instructed to amend the paragraphs relating to the commissioning testing of BWMS systems to ensure that there are no references to compliance with regulation D-2.

 

Ballast water sampling and analysis.  The Committee approved the revised Guidance on ballast water sampling and analysis for trial use in accordance with the BWM Convention and Guidelines (G2) and requested the Secretariat to circulate it as BWM.2/Circ.42/Rev.2.

 

Heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters.  Following consideration of document MEPC 75/10/7 by FOEI (et al.) raising concerns about the impact and effectiveness of the draft prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil by ships in Arctic waters, the Committee approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I, introducing a prohibition on such use and carriage, with a view to adoption at MEPC 76

 

REPORTS OF OTHER SUB-COMMITTEES. 

 

Outcome of HTW 6.  The Committee noted the advice of HTW 6 that a conversion of STCW model courses into e-learning courses would:

  • Change the current approach and goal of model courses, as they are not courses ready to be delivered but tools assisting Member States and other stakeholders to develop training programmes; and,
  • Require careful consideration of any accountability implications for the subsequent assessment of competence, training quality and independent evaluations relating to the training material in accordance with the STCW Convention.

In addition, the Committee concurred with MSC 102s decision to request the III Sub-Committee to consider how e-learning material could assist with the implementation of instruments other than the STCW convention and advise the Committee accordingly.  Furthermore, the Committee concurred with the decision by MSC 102 to endorse the systematic use of the Model Course Trust Fund to hire experts for the development and revision of model courses, subject to the Secretariat’s contracting process, to be applied to all IMO bodies dealing with model courses, as necessary.

 

Outcome of III 6.  In line with the outcome of MSC 102, the Committee re-affirmed the methodology agreed by III 3 for developing guidelines for port State control (PSC) and amendments thereto, under the coordination of the Sub-Committee, for consolidation within the Procedures for port State control, when deciding on the attribution of new tasks to sub-committees.

The Committee noted that, as authorised by MSC and MEPC, III 6 had prepared draft Assembly resolutions, and that Assembly 31 had subsequently adopted them as follows:

 

  • Procedures for port State control ;
  • Guidance on communication of information by Member States;
  • Survey guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC); and,
  • Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code).

 

WORK PROGRAMME OF THE COMMITTEE AND SUBSIDIARY BODIES.  The Committee approved the biennial agendas of the PPR, CCC, and III Sub-Committees and provisional agendas for their forthcoming sessions.  With regard to Correspondence Groups, the one on Air Pollution and Energy has been re-established whilst that on EEDI Phase 4 is due to present its final report to MEPC 76.  Intersessional meetings of the ESPH Technical Group and the Working group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships will take place in 2021.

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  MEPC 76 is scheduled to take place from 14 to 18 and 21 to 25 June 2021.

End

Captain Paddy McKnight

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