IMO MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE 10 – 17 JUNE 2021

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee held its 76th Session (MEPC 76) remotely from Thursday 16 through Thursday 17 June 2021 under the Chairmanship of Mr Hideako Saito (JAPAN) and his Vice-Chair, Mr Harry Conway (LIBERIA).

 

A total of 111 delegations submitted their credentials for the meeting.  Their numbers were supplemented by Associate Member States, UN and Special Agencies, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental organisations.  The InterManager delegation was once again joined 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 opposing priorities such that compromise on many issues was not easy to achieve.

 

 

ADDRESS BY THE IMO SECRETARY-GENERAL.  Welcoming delegates to the session, Mr Lim informed Plenary that the 100th ratification of MARPOL Annex VI had been received following the deposit by Argentina of their instrument of accession.

He stated that a substantial part of this virtual meeting would be dedicated to the crucial work on the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping.

Despite many obstacles at MEPC 75, the Committee approved measures to cut carbon intensity of all ships by at least 40% before 2030.  This short term measure introduced important new concepts such as carbon intensity, a rating system and strengthening of the SEEMP into our global framework.  In this connection, the work on the comprehensive impact assessment has proven instrumental to the Committee’s evidence-based decision making, for which he thanked the Vice-Chair, Mr Harry Conway, in respect of his Steering Group’s efforts.  He felt that in future, mechanisms to support developing countries against disproportionate negative impacts and disruptions to trade, needed due consideration.  He also thanked the WG on reduction of GHG emissions from ships for their hard work in developing Guidelines related to EEXI, CII and its rating system.

Mr Lim looked forward to discussion of revised proposals from member States and industry for the establishment of an International Maritime Research Board and Fund (IMRB) together with proposals for a GHG work plan to structure discussions on mid- and long-term measures.

In the context of air-pollution from ships, consideration will be given to proposals in respect of enhancing guidance on the discharge water from exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and draft TORs for further work on reduction of impacts on the Arctic of black carbon emissions from international shipping.

With respect to the Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships, the Committee is expected to discuss the marking of fishing gear and the development of a draft strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships.

Finally, consideration will be given to the proposed new output “Review of the 2014 Guidelines for the reduction of underwater noise from commercial shipping to address impacts on marine life and identification of next steps”

Winding up his address, the Secretary-General stated that he looked forward to a “fruitful meeting”.

 

 

CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF AMENDMENTS TO MANDATORY INSTRUMENTS.  The Committee established a virtual Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments and instructed it, taking into account comments, proposals and decisions made in plenary, to prepare the final text on:

  • Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping and exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements in the form of a revised consolidated MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I concerning the prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil by ships in Arctic waters;
  • Draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements;
  • Draft amendments to the AFS Convention concerning controls on cybutryne and the form of the IAFSC (International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling System Certificate); and,
  • Guidelines for exemption of unmanned non self-propelled (UNSP) barges from the survey and certification requirements under the MARPOL Convention.

 

Having considered the report of the virtual Drafting Group, the Committee approved it in general and took action as follows:

 

  • Noted the Group’s revision in the text of regulation 28.3 and the footnote;
  • Noted the revisions to the text of regulations 6.6 to 6.8 related to the Statement of Compliance, and regulation 26 related to the SEEMP, to bring both in line with the agreed changes to regulation 28.3;
  • Agreed the proposed new paragraph 10bis in regulation 27, which aims to address the need to grant access to the Administration of a ship, to which regulation 28 applies to all reported data for the previous calendar year for the purposes of CII calculation;
  • Noted that the Group was unable to address the matter related to the transfer of a company during the year as part of its work, however, it will be added to the TORs of the CG on Carbon Intensity Reduction to be considered when developing the guidelines on the CII calculation in the case of a transfer of Administration or company;
  • Noted that appendix IX has a provision for including EEDI information on the form, but that there is no similar provision for the inclusion of EEXI information and that the Committee may wish to consider this matter in a future amendment;
  • Noted that in view of the significant renumbering of regulations and paragraphs in the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, recommend the publication of a revised consolidated MARPOL Annex VI, including cross-referencing tables to the previous version;
  • Adopted the draft text of MARPOL Annex VI incorporating the draft amendments concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping and exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I regarding the prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil by ships in Arctic waters;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from certain survey and certification requirements;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to the International Convention on the Control pf Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention) concerning controls on cybutryne and the form of the IAFSC;
  • Noted that the guidelines do not provide guidance on where the exemption certificates should be located when a UNSP barge is not being either pushed or towed and that the Committee may wish to address this matter in future;
  • Approved the draft MEPC.1 Circular on the Guidelines for exemption of UNSP barges from certain survey and certification requirements under the MARPOL Convention; and,
  • Authorised the Secretariat, when preparing the authentic text of the amendments, to effect any editorial corrections that may be identified and bring to the attention of the Committee, any errors or omissions which would require action by the Parties to MARPOL.

 

 

HARMFUL AQUATIC ORGANISMS IN BALLAST WATER.  In accordance with the arrangements of the remote session, the Committee considered by correspondence, prior to the virtual meeting, a total of 33 documents related to this item.

 

Verification of compliance monitoring devices (CMDs).  The Committee instructed the PPR Sub-Committee to consider document MEPC 76/4/1 (ISO) in the context of a protocol for the verification of CMDs under AOB, and to advise the Committee accordingly;

 

Experience-building phase (EBP).  The Committee noted the information provided in a document by the Secretariat and encouraged Administrations wishing to submit data to the EBP, as well as other stakeholders with potential complementary data, to liaise with the World Maritime University (WMU) at ebp21@wmu.se to facilitate data submission and gathering.

 

Form of the International Ballast Water Management Certificate.  The Committee instructed the PPR Sub Committee to consider document MEPC 75/3/5 (China) under item 16 (Unified Interpretation to provisions of IMO environment-related conventions), and to advise the Committee accordingly.

 

Type approval of ballast water management systems.  The Committee noted the information regarding type-approved ballast water management systems provided in a grand total of 27 submitted documents.

 

Information on other matters related to the implementation of the BWM Convention.  The Committee noted information from INTERTANKO on entries in the ballast water record book, from China, a rapid detailed method for assessing the viability of 10-50 µm phytoplankton in ballast water, and from Australia, a study evaluating the performance of ballast water management systems on board ships against the D-2 standard.

 

Matters deferred to MEPC 77.  The following matters were deferred to MEPC 77:

 

  • Application of the BWM Convention to specific ship types;
  • Application of the BWM Convention to ships operating at ports with challenging water quality; and,
  • A review of the ballast water record book.

 

 

AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION. 

 

Matters considered by Correspondence prior to the virtual meeting.  The Committee considered the following documents:

 

  • MEPC 76/5/2 (Secretariat), providing a summary of information reported to IMO related to the implementation of the global 0.50% sulphur limit from 1 January 2020 (IMO2020) and the outcomes of the sulphur monitoring programme for 2020;
  • MEPC 76/INF.64 (ICOMIA), providing an update on the availability of Tier III NOx compliant engines for large yachts > 24m load-line length and < 500 GTs; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.71 (Tokyo MOU), providing summarised information on inspections by port State control (PSC) related to the global 0.50% sulphur limit (IMO2020) requirements, conducted by Tokyo MOU member Authorities.

 

During the virtual meeting, the Committee reconfirmed the Chair’s proposals set out in Annex 2 to document MEPC 76/1/1 and took note of same.

 

Report of the Correspondence Group on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency.  Having noted the discussion of the CG on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, as summarised in document MEPC 76.5/1, the Committee took the actions requested of it as follows:

 

  • Noted the CG discussion on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, as summarised;
  • Approved draft amendments to the Guidance for best practice for Member State/Coastal State, which contains an indicative example of a licence for fuel oil supply in its annex;
  • Noted the possible way forward considered by the Group before determining the proxy of offshore and marine contracting vessels and cruise passenger ships, and in particular:

 

For offshore and marine contracting vessels. (1). Noted the tentative definition of “offshore and marine contracting vessels” for a trial on voluntary basis.

(2). Encouraged offshore and marine contracting vessels to collect “engine running hours and installed power” in addition to the IMO DCS data, if applicable, for trial on a voluntary basis. (3). Encouraged offshore and marine contracting vessels to calculate both proxies A and B, and report them to IMO via email, for consideration together with the IMO DCS data, as appropriate. (4). Invited IMO to develop an anonymised dataset of proxies A and B for analysis and consideration by the Parties, together with the IMO DCS data, if applicable.

 

For cruise passenger ships. (1). Encouraged cruise passenger ships to collect “available lower berth (ALB)” in addition to the IMO DCS data for a voluntary trial.

(2). Encouraged cruise passenger ships to report the collected ALB data to IMO via email together with IMO DCS data. (3). Invited IMO to develop an anonymised dataset of proxies based on ALB for analysis and consideration by the Parties, together with the IMO DCS data.  Relevant datasets related to proxies based on ALB may also be submitted;

 

  • Noted that all potential performance indicators (PIs) are kept for further consideration, noting that some of the proposed PIs could not be obtained from the data currently collected pursuant to regulation 22A of MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Approved the draft Work Plan to progress the work on Shaft/Engine Power Limitation concept;
  • Noted the preliminary consideration on possible items to be covered by the proposed “guidelines on the Shaft/Engine Power Limitation System” to comply with the EEDI requirements;
  • Adopted the draft amendments to the guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions;
  • Adopted draft amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships;
  • Approved the draft unified interpretation to clarify the dates related to EEDI phase 2 and 3 for “new ships”, as draft amendments to circular MEPC.1/Circ.795/Rev.4; and,
  • Noted the need to further clarify the ship types that are subject to the provisions for “Attained EEDI” and “Required EEDI” and which were not identified by the Group.

 

Proxy for offshore and marine contracting vessels and cruise passenger ships.  Following an input by IMCA expressing concern that voluntary submission of data for offshore and marine contracting vessels might lead to inadequate quality control and proposing instead that industry organisations, like IMCA, could submit data to IMO on behalf of its members on an annual basis, the Committee decided to forward the proposal to the CG and instructed the Secretariat to amend the TORs of the CG accordingly.

 

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF SHIPS. 

 

Matters considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting.  The following documents were considered by correspondence:

 

  • MEPC 76/6/4 (IACS and ASEF), introducing background information on issuing the “2020 industry guidelines for calculation and verification of the Energy Efficiency design Index (EEDI)” which the Committee duly noted;
  • MEPC 76/INF.2 (Secretariat), providing the ninth summary of data and graphical representations of the information in the EEDI database, also duly noted;
  • MEPC 76/INF.28 (IACS and ASEF), containing a copy of the “2020 industry guidelines for calculation and verification of the EEDI; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.40 (Republic of Korea), providing information developed by a joint research group with a view to completing the interim Guidelines for the calculation of the coefficient fw for decrease in ship speed in representative sea conditions for trial use, again noted by the Committee.

 

Matters considered during the virtual meeting.  The Committee recalled that amendments to MARPOL Annex VI for the data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships entered into force on 1 March 2018 and that in accordance with regulation 27.10 of MARPOL Annex VI, the SG-IMO shall produce an annual report.  In this regard, document MEPC 76/6/1 (Secretariat) informed the Committee as follows:

 

  • In January 2019, it was estimated that 32,511 ships, under 135 Administrations, could potentially fall under the scope of regulation 27 of MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Data for reporting year 2019 were submitted by 107 Administrations, comprising 72 Parties to MARPOL Annex VI and 35 non-Parties, for 27,221 ships in total out of the potential 35,211 ships (83.7%) and that, on the basis of gross tonnage, the reported data represented 93% of the ships that were estimated to fall under the scope of regulation 27 of MARPOL Annex VI;
  • Just over 213 million tonnes of fuel were used in 2019. On a quantity basis,  5% was heavy fuel oil (HFO), 11.3% was diesel gas oil (MDO/MGO) and 3.3% light fuel oil (LFO), thus more than 95% of the fuel oil used during 2019 was conventional fuel oil; and,
  • The majority of fuel oil was consumed by three ship types: bulk carriers, tankers and containerships. In addition, 10 million tonnes (4.9%) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), mainly used by gas carriers and LNG carriers, was reported, whilst the remaining minority fuel oil types reported were ethanol, methanol, LPG and biofuel.

 

The Committee also noted that, following the analysis and verification of the 2019 fuel consumption data, the Secretariat had proposed a number of improvements to the reporting process and the Ship Fuel Oil Consumption module in GISIS as follows:

 

  • Updating the hourly limit when inputting “hours under way” in GISIS;
  • Adding further instructions for Administrations and recognised organisations (ROs) to ensure reporting in the appropriate ship type category;
  • Consider amending the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained EEDI for new ships to include ethane and biofuel; and,
  • With regard to reporting biofuels under the “Other” category, user defined CF values should be calculated based on their chemical properties and CO2 emissions in operation to allow for comparisons with the CF values defined in resolution MEPC.308(73).

 

Matters deferred to MEPC 77.  As with the preceding item, a large number of documents were deferred for consideration at MEPC 77.

 

 

REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS FROM SHIPS.  As forewarned by the IMO Secretarial General in his opening address, this important item absorbed discussion for more than half the allotted meeting time.

 

Matters considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting.  The Committee noted document MEPC 76/INF.25 (Secretariat) regarding the recently finalised Ship-Port Interface Guide – Practical Measures to Reduce GHG Emissions, which was developed by the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA) within the framework of the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project.

 

Matters considered during the virtual meeting.  The Committee agreed to consider matters in the following order:

 

  • The Steering Committee report on the Comprehensive Impact Assessment of the short-term measure approved by MEPC 75;
  • The outcome of the eighth meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG);
  • The revised proposal on the establishment of the International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) and the IMO Research Fund (IMRF) and related commenting documents; and,
  • Proposals on the development of mid- and long-term measures following up on the initial IMO GHG Strategy and supporting working arrangements.

 

Report of the Steering Committee on the Comprehensive Impact Assessment of the short-term measure approved by MEPC 75.  Documents MEPC 76/7/13 and

MEPC 76/INF.68 contained the main findings of the impact assessment.  The Committee noted, in particular, that the Steering Committee had agreed to structure its work under the TORs in seven distinct but closely interlinked tasks: literature review; assessment of the impact of the measure on the fleet; assessment of the impact of the measure on States; stakeholder analysis; identification of areas of missing data; COVID-19 considerations; and, disproportionately negative impacts.

The Committee considered documents MEPC 76/7/13 and MEPC/INF.68 containing the main findings of the impact assessment, noting in particular, that:

 

  • The impacts on States expressed in changes in GDP and trade values (imports/exports) demonstrated that by 2030, while overall the global impacts of the short-term measure would be relatively small, there would be relatively higher negative impacts of the short-term measure on certain groups of States, most notably those remote from their markets, LDCs and SIDs;
  • Generally, the negative impacts would be higher for countries that already had a weaker economy (no doubt further weakened by COVID-19), while the impacts of the draft amendments would not be larger than already existing fluctuations in global freight rates following from, for instance, fuel price fluctuations or other economic developments;
  • For some countries, the negative impacts of the IMO measure assessed in the report were higher than for others, and aware of the resource constraints of some developing countries, including SIDs and LDCs, some countries would require support to mitigate against the increased maritime logistics costs and alleviate the consequent negative impact on their respective real income and trade flows; and,
  • Whereas the impact assessment identified negative impacts, the Steering Committee did not make any progress on defining whether those negative impacts were to be considered as “disproportionately” negative.

 

Three further documents were considered, all commenting on the main findings of the impact assessment, namely:

 

  • MEPC 76/7/62 (Solomon Islands) noting that the needs of SIDS and LDCs are not homogenous, proposing that there should be no general exemptions or waivers initially, but that a review of the short-term measure should be reviewed three years after entry into force in order to identify whether there would be any disproportionately negative impact on States;
  • MEPC 76/7 63 (Antigua and Barbuda et al), proposing the inclusion of a waiver clause in the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI; and,
  • MEPC 76/7/64 (Argentina et al) proposing that the draft resolution for the adoption of the short-term measure should also include some decisions inspired by the conclusions of the assessment plus complementary assessments, and to invite proposals for ISWG-GHG 9 to follow-up on those decisions.

 

There followed a long discussion in plenary during which a plethora of views were aired.  Having also considered a number of further documents and the additional information provided orally by the coordinator of the Steering Committee, Mr Harry Conway (Liberia), the Committee took action as follows:

 

  • Noted that the Steering Committee had concluded that the comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term measure fulfilled the TORs and timelines agreed by MEPC 75;
  • Thanked contributing Member States for their financial assistance towards the cost of the assessment and expressed appreciation to all the experts involved in its execution, in particular WMU, DNV, NUS, UNCTAD and Starcrest;
  • Reaffirmed that the implementation and impacts of the short-term measure would be kept under review;
  • Noting that during MEPC 75, many delegations highlighted the need to consider the draft amendments and the assessment of their impacts on States as a package, the Committee agreed that MEPC 76 will follow suit;
  • The Committee agreed that a lessons-learned exercise should be undertaken from the assessment with a view to future assessments , including how disproportionately negative impacts can be identified with a view to addressing them, as appropriate;
  • To that effect, the Committee agreed the wording of an additional paragraph in the resolution text, and to take into account the Procedure for assessing impacts on States of candidate measures, also the wording of the TORs for the impact assessment of the short-term measure;
  • The Committee did not agree to the inclusion of a waiver clause to the draft amendments but agreed to re-visit the matter in conjunction with the review of the short-term measure to be completed by 1 January 2026;
  • Having noted various requests for additional technical assistance, resource mobilisation and data gathering to support States with the implementation of the measure, the Committee requested the Technical Cooperation Committee to consider ways in which to provide enhanced support in the first years of implementation of the measure; and,
  • In conclusion of this item, the Committee approved, in general, the report on the comprehensive impact assessment as set out in documents MEPC 76/7/13 and MEPC 76/INF.68 and addendum.

 

Secretariat support for the Organisation’s work on GHG emissions reduction.  Following an intervention by Mr Yamada, the Director of the Marine Environment Division (MED) concerning the increasing workload engendered by GHG emissions reduction, the Committee recommended further consideration of this matter at Council with a view to making the necessary additional budget allocation for the next biennium of 2022-2023 for recruiting two additional professional officers in the Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency Section of the MED.

 

Eighth meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 8).  The Committee noted that the eighth meeting had been held remotely from 24 to 28 May 2021 and its report submitted as document MEPC 76/WP.4.  It was also noted that ISWG-GHG 8 had considered the report of the CG on the Development of Technical Guidelines on Carbon Intensity Reduction in conjunction with those documents submitted to MEPC 76 commenting on the report of the CG as follows;

 

  • Eight submissions by China (et al) providing the report of the CG on the development of Technical Guidelines on Carbon Intensity Reduction established at MEPC 75 on: the draft technical guidelines supporting the EEXI framework, the CII framework, the updated SEEMP Guidelines, the update of other existing guidelines, a summary of contents provided by the CG, and a technical report on CII guidelines development prepared by the coordinators of the CG, respectively;
  • MEPC 76/7/14 (INTERFERRY) suggesting that High-Speed Craft (HSC) should be defined as a separate sector from ro-ro passenger ships in MARPOL Annex VI Chapter 4;
  • MEPC 76/7/16 (RINA and NI) providing information on member and wider industry consultation on EEXI and the development of technical guidelines on carbon intensity;
  • MEPC 76/7/19 (The Netherlands) supporting the inclusion of compensation factors for cargo treatment related energy use (heating/cooling) and cargo handling (loading gears) as these could have a significant effect on the CII value;
  • MEPC 76/7/21 (Estonia et.al.) proposing, in favour of voyage exclusions for ice classed ships when sailing in ice conditions for calculation of the attained CII for these ships, a definition of “sailing in ice conditions” as “sailing of an ice-classed ship in a sea area within the ice edge”;
  • MEPC 76/7/23 (France) proposing a method to assess the possibility of including potential correction factors and voyage exclusions in the CII framework;
  • MEPC 76/7/24 (France and USA) analysing and discussing the relevance of the remaining options for the measurement of the 2030 target and the already achieved carbon intensity improvement in the Reduction factors guidelines developed by the CG;
  • MEPC 76/7/25 (Indonesia et al) providing additional information related to excluding operations in severe adverse weather conditions from a ship’s CII rating calculation;
  • MEPC 76/7/27 (INTERTANKO) outlining the distinct operations that shuttle tankers perform compared to regular tankers and which result in significantly higher fuel consumption, thus should be considered as a different category;
  • MEPC 76/7/28 (RINA) proposing to amend the draft guidelines on survey and certification of the attained EEXI in order to support the use of numerical methods as an equivalent to model tests;
  • MEPC 76/7/29 (ICS and WSC) outlining why calculating the energy consumption associated with refrigerated containers is critical to creating an equitable CII rating system for container ships transporting chilled and frozen cargoes;
  • MEPC 76/7/30 (CLIA and WSC) providing a detailed discussion on the advantages of a “Fleet-Level Monitoring” (FLM) pointing out that a CII monitoring system focussing on individual ships would invariably lead the owners and operators to put their efforts on those ships that receive lower ratings rather than resulting in their retirement;
  • MEPC 76/7/33 (WSC) outlining issues that arise in the data and rationale for ship type specific CII reduction rates, highlighting the gap between estimated efficiency improvements achieved and the actual efficiency improvements noted in the 2019 IMO DCS data;
  • MEPC 76/7/34 assessing that the CII calculation is not likely to incentivise reduction of absolute emissions in the cruise sector as it uses a distance variable in the denominator encouraging cruise passenger ships to travel greater distances, leading to an increase in absolute emissions;
  • MEPC 76/7/35 (Italy) proposing amendments to the draft guidelines on the method of calculating the attained EEXI for ro-ro cargo ships (vehicle carriers);
  • MEPC 76/7/36 (IPTA) assessing that a number of factors affecting fuel consumption, such as cargo heating, tank washing and operation of nitrogen generators, have to be properly addressed to provide an accurate picture of the efficiency of individual chemical tankers;
  • MEPC 76/7/37 (IACS) commenting on the report of the CG on the Development of Technical Guidelines on Carbon Intensity Reduction with particular reference to SEEMP, recommending clarification on the role of the SEEMP;
  • MEPC 76/7/38 (Pacific Environment and CSC) recommending the adoption of the strongest possible reduction rates to build up the short term-measure’s ambition, transparency and implementation;
  • MEPC 76/7/41 (Denmark) estimating that, without any clear incentives or benefits for front-runners in the short-term regulation, many companies would not be able to bear the additional costs of a transition towards low or carbon neutral fuels;
  • MEPC 76/7/43 (INTERTANKO) supporting the exclusion of fuel consumption relating to cargo operations from a ship’s carbon intensity indicator (CII) rating calculation;
  • MEPC 76/7/44 (Republic of Korea) suggesting to reflect onboard CO2 capture, as one GHG emissions reduction technology, in the CII framework;
  • MEPC 76/7/46 9 (INTERTANKO) highlighting the need to apply a correction factor to account for the energy consumption for cargo cooling onboard gas carriers;
  • MEPC 76/7/47 (IACS) proposing modifications to the draft guidelines on survey and certification of the attained EEXI;
  • MEPC 76/7/48 (INTERTANKO) commenting on the CG option for the CII annual reduction rate based on “supply-based measurement” using data reported by tanker operators and data from the Third and Fourth IMO GHG Studies;
  • MEPC 76/7/50 (United States) providing comments on the incorporation of the overridable engine power limit (OPL) concept into the draft EEXI guidelines, estimating that the methodology for calculating the effect of an OPL overstates the efficiency gains and therefore the GHG reduction impact;
  • MEPC 76/7/51 (RINA) addressing issues regarding DCS data inaccuracy, especially linked to anonymisation making it impossible for shipowners and potential users to undertake verifications;
  • MEPC 76/7/52 (Greece) suggesting that the additional energy consumption for LNG carriers which is necessary for cooling the temperature and maintaining the pressure of the cargo for transportation should not be included in the calculation of the attained CII;
  • MEPC 76/7/53 (Greece) suggesting that all EEDI capacity correction factors should be equally applicable to CII calculations because AER is a capacity related indicator (DWT);
  • MEPC 76/7/54 (Greece) suggesting that the PME(i) should remain at 75% of MCR as currently included in the draft guidelines and in line with the EEDI calculations in order to prevent confusion;
  • MEPC 76/7/55 (Greece) observing unjustified distortions in CII rating of small bulk carriers resulting in an increased number of ships rated D and E and suggesting the introduction of size-dependent correction factors to adjust the rating boundaries;
  • MEPC 76/7/56 (CLIA) stating that the seven- or six-months period allowed by the procedures associated with carrying out the CII measurement would not leave enough time to make substantial adjustments to the operational profile, thus proposing an extension to the plan for corrective actions;
  • MEPC 76/7/59 (India) proposing an additional figure in the draft guidelines on survey and certification of the EEXI providing an example speed-power curve representing pre-EEDI ships with sea trial result calibrated to design draft, falling under the scope of paragraph 2.2.3.4 of the draft guidelines on the method of calculating the attained EEXI;
  • MEPC 76/INF.41 (the Netherlands) providing a study conducted by MARIN and CONOSHIP international analysing the effect of the CII framework on general cargo ships, container ships and tankers with a focus on the small ship segments of these ship types and associated unjustified distortions in rating; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.60 (Denmark) providing a study exploring the way in which the short-term measure agreed at MEPC 75 could be used to incentivise the uptake of low- or zero-carbon fuels by allowing fleet-averaging as an option to comply with the CII framework

 

Having considered the report of ISWG-GHG 8 and the additional information provided by the chair of the Group, Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway), the Committee approved the report in general and took action as follows:

 

Finalisation of the draft technical guidelines supporting the EEXI framework.  The Committee noted the Group’s discussion on the finalisation of the draft technical guidelines supporting the EEXI framework and adopted resolutions on (1) the method of calculation of the attained energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI). (2). The 2021 Guidelines on survey and certification of the EEXI, and (3) the 2021 Guidelines on the shaft/engine power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of power reserve.

 

Finalisation of the draft technical guidelines supporting the CII framework.  The Committee took note of the Group’s discussion on the finalisation of the draft technical guidelines supporting the CII framework. In the ensuing discussion, Norway floated the idea of expanding the IMO’s Data Collection System (DCS) whilst the Cook Islands noted that although waivers would not be granted within the short-term measure in the draft amendments, there remains an existing waiver in regulation 19.4 of MARPOL Annex VI.

The Committee next adopted a resolution on the 2021 Guidelines on the reference lines for use with operational Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII reference lines guidelines, G2).

With regard to CII reduction factor guidelines, G3, the majority of delegations supported the compromise proposal forwarded by ISWG-GHG 8.  However, some delegations thought that more ambitious GHG efforts would be needed in order to achieve the levels of ambition set out in the Initial IMO Strategy.  Some other delegations expressed disappointment, stating that the reduction rates set for phases 1 and 2 (1% and 2% annually, respectively) were insufficient to incentivise behavioural change and that keeping phase 3 blank until the review would generate uncertainty for the industry.  There was no dissension to the assertion that there is a need to develop mid- and long-term measures to effectively deliver on the levels of ambition laid down in the Initial Strategy, and which may also contribute to the 2030 target.

Following consideration, the Committee adopted resolutions on the 2021 Guidelines on the operational carbon intensity factors relative to reference lines (CII Reduction factor Guidelines, G3) and the 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4) using non-rounded DCS data in the recalculations.

 

Matters deferred to MEPC 77.  A considerable number of documents were deferred for consideration to MEPC 77.

 

Revised proposal for an International Maritime Research and Development Board.  This proposal was first discussed at MEPC 75 and carried over to MEPC 76.  In this regard, documents MEPC 76/7/7 and /8 (Denmark et al) refined the proposal, taking into account views and concerns expressed at MEPC 75, including proposed draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI for the establishment of the IMRB and IMRF.

A prolonged discussion followed in which little common ground could be identified and due to lack of time, full consideration of the revised IMRB proposal and related commenting documents could not be carried out since not all delegations were able to express their views. Consequently, the Committee agreed that the discussion would be resumed at its next session.

 

Proposals on the development of mid- and long-term measures following up on the Initial IMO GHG Strategy and supporting working arrangements.  The Committee had for its consideration a number of documents containing proposals on the development of mid- and long-term measures following up on the Initial Strategy and supporting working arrangements falling into three distinct groups as follows:

 

  • MEPC 76/10 (Australia et al) proposing a work plan for the development of mid- and long-term measures in three phases: Phase I – Collation and initial consideration of proposals for measures; Phase II – Assessment and selection of measure(s) to further develop; and, Phase III – Development of (a) measure(s) to be finalised within (an) agreed target date(s). The work plan should identify key issues to be considered for each proposed mid- and long-term measure, including the main characteristics and features of the measure; identification of emissions reduction potential; potential implications for the shipping industry; implementation and enforcement aspects; legal aspects and indication of total workload for the Organisation; and
  • MEPC 76/7/61 (WWF et al) commenting on document MEPC 76/7/10 above and suggesting that the timelines are not fully aligned with achieving the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement in keeping global warming below 1.5ºC and to that purpose proposed amending the work plan.

 

Other proposals on the development of mid- and long-term measures and supporting working arrangements were submitted as follows;

 

  • MEPC 76/7/2 Norway) setting out three concepts for a possible regulatory mechanism for the effective uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels: a fuel CO2/GHG limit; emission cap and trading; and, carbon intensity indicators and credit trading/fleet averaging;
  • MEPC 76/9 (Australia et al) containing a proposal for new working arrangements to accelerate discussions on various GHG-related work streams, in particular the establishment of a Standing Technical Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ST-GHG) to replace the ISWG-GHG in the future;
  • MEPC 76/7/11 (Belgium et al) aiming to answer the questions raised at MEPC 75 regarding legal possibilities of IMO measures, in particular mid-term (economic) measures;
  • MEPC 76/7/15 (Denmark et al) outlining the importance of starting work on mid-term GHG reduction measures to incentivise the use of sustainable low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels with the transition starting well before 2030;
  • MEPC 76/7/39 (ICS et al) proposing that the Committee makes a decision in principle to commence deliberations on mandatory market based measures (MBMs) before 2023 with a view to considering how monies generated from MBMs should be used;
  • MEPC 76/7/40 (Belgium) commenting on documents /2, /11 and /22, suggesting that the two proposed levies in documents /7 and /12 are similar in the respect that no payments would be collected or disbursed by States such that they are conceptually similar to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC), concluding that the proposed levies could be adopted through the same legal pathway.
  • MEPC 76/7/42 (Netherlands and OECD) commenting on document /15 (Denmark et al) underlining the importance of starting work on mid-term measures, in particular carbon pricing and/or fuel standards;
  • MEPC 76/7/60 (Pacific Environment) commenting on document /7 (Denmark et al) and /12 (Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands) and describing the general effects of a possible GHG levy, comparing these effects to those alternative measures for the purpose of demonstrating that an ambitious GHG levy on ships would be a more effective stand-alone measure to raise revenue for shipping’s low and zero-emission transition than a small fuel tax and R & D Fund; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.22 (Belgium et al) presenting a study on the legal basis of candidate IMO measures to reduce GHG emissions from ships which suggests that IMO would have the power to regulate the climate impacts of international shipping through the powers conferred on it by the IMO Convention, with the authority to address climate issues.

 

The third group of documents contain proposals on the establishment of a universal mandatory GHG levy as follows:

 

  • MEPC 76/7/12 Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands) proposing a mandatory levy on GHG emissions from international shipping as an immediate priority measure with a view to incentivising a rapid shift away from fossil fuel, at an entry level by 2025 of $100 per tonne carbon dioxide equivalent on HFO with upward ratchets in a five-yearly cycle;
  • MEPC 76/INF.21 (Marshall Islands) presenting a Sabin Centre White Paper discussing the principles of international law that bear the Organisation’s authority to adopt an MBM to reduce GHG emissions and whether IMO may allocate the generated revenue to SIDS and other States that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts;
  • MEPC 76/INF.23 (Marshall Islands) presenting an initial impact assessment, discussing possible impacts of the proposed levy on States, including connectivity to markets, cargo value and type, transport dependency and costs, food security, disaster response, cost-effectiveness, and socio-economic progress and development; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.24 (Marshall Islands) presenting a literature review and analysis of available evidence supporting a 1.5ºC compatible GHG price on international shipping.

 

Due to severe time constraints, the Committee decreed that it was not possible to have a detailed discussion on the contents of the above-mentioned documents.  However, believing that the proposals contained therein are important in assisting the Committee to make progress on the mid- and long-term measures, an initial consideration was deemed necessary.

 

Proposal for a work plan for the development of mid and long-term measures.  The Committee noted that document MEPC 76/7/10 had been co-sponsored by 22 Member States representing both developed and developing States and various geographical regions, putting forward a concrete process on how to structure the Organisation’s discussion on mid- and long-term measures, including the consideration of impacts on States of candidate measures in three distinct phases. In the ensuing discussion, all delegations that spoke supported the proposed work plan as a good starting point and an effective and transparent way forward in which to structure the Committee’s future development work.

Following further discussion in plenary, the Committee approved the work plan and requested ISWG-GHG 9 to use it as a basis and a guidance for its further work on the consideration of concrete proposals for mid- and long-term measures.

 

Proposal on the establishment of a universal mandatory greenhouse gas levy.  The Committee considered the proposals made by the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands concerning an entry level mandatory levy of $100 per tonne carbon dioxide equivalent on HFO by 2025 and a formula for disbursement of monies raised, an initial impact assessment accompanying the proposal, a study on principles of international law and the adoption of an MBM for GHG emissions from shipping as well as a literature review and analysis of available evidence supporting the1.5º compatible carbon price on international shipping.

Several delegations welcomed the proposal whilst others expressed the view that a levy would not necessarily be the most suitable for an MBM and in any case, the exact amount of the levy would have to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment.  Indeed, the proposal would need to be considered along with other proposals for an MBM under phase 1 of the work plan.  Opposition was expressed to the proposed use of the Green Climate Fund (set up under UNFCC) whilst some delegations felt that the proposal was premature and would have considerable negative impacts on maritime trade serving developing States arguing that the proposal should not be considered further at this stage.

The Committee noted statements by the delegations of the Cook Islands, Indonesia and Vanuatu concerning the need to properly address the negative impacts of the short-term measure and to define disproportionate negative impacts before considering mid-term measures.  Finally, the Committee noted an intervention by the Solomon Islands, supported by 12 other delegations, stating that in view of the considerable support for their proposal to initiate consideration of market-based measures as soon as possible, the proposal in MEPC 76/7/12 should be considered by ISWG-GHG 9 instead of MEPC 77.

 

Matters deferred to MEPC 77.  The Committee agreed to defer consideration of a large number of documents relating to the Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, to MEPC 77.

 

 

FOLLOW-UP WORK EMANATING FROM THE ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS MARINE PLASTIC LITTER FROM SHIPS.  Due to time constraints, the Committee agreed to defer consideration of all documents submitted on this item to MEPC 77.  Vanuatu urged that the follow-up work emanating from the Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships by MEPC 77 should be safeguarded as it has already been deferred since MEPC 75.

 

 

POLLUTION PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.

 

Procedures for PSC on the use of electronic record books.  Having considered the outcome of PPR 7 in relation to the request by III 6 to the PPR Sub-Committee to further review the draft amendments to the Procedure for port State control, 2019 by III 6, the Committee:

 

  • Endorsed the development of interim guidance for surveyors, including a sample form, to facilitate the endorsement of a cargo operation in an electronic Cargo Record Book; and,
  • Noted that PPR 7 had invited III 7 to develop the interim guidance and to consider whether there is a need to incorporate the guidance in the next revision of the Procedures for port State control.

 

Evaluation of products and cleaning additives.  With regard to the categorisation of liquid substances, the Committee;

 

  • Concurred with the evaluation of products and their respective inclusion in lists 1, 3 and 5 of MEPC.2/Circ.26 with validity for all countries and with no expiry date;
  • Noted that three products already listed in chapter 17 of the IBC Code that were subsequently reassessed by ESPH 26, namely Creosote, Sodium Chlorate solution and Ethyl tert-butyl ether, a distinguishing qualifier was appended to the corresponding product names in list 1 of MEPC.2/Circ.26 to facilitate shipment of the products with the updated carriage requirements;
  • Noted that information regarding the reassessment of existing products and the use of a distinguishing qualifier was included in section 3 of the MEPC.2 circular;
  • Concurred with the evaluation of cleaning additives and their inclusion in annex 10 of MEPC.2/Circ.26; and,
  • Endorsed the establishment of a generic entry for “Palm oil mill effluent (POME) technical oil” in list 1 of the MEPC.2 circular on Provisional categorisation of liquid substances in accordance with MARPOL Annex II and the IBC Code, with validity for all countries, without an expiry date.

 

Mitigation measures to reduce risks of use and carriage for use of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters.  With regard to the draft guidelines on mitigation measures being developed by the PPR Sub-Committee, the Committee noted that PPR 7 requested:

 

  • NCSR to review section 2 (Navigational measures) and section 5 (Communications) of the draft guidelines;
  • SDC to review paragraph 4.4 of the draft guidelines, concerning the location of fuel tanks; and,
  • HTW to review section 7 (Familiarisation, training and drills).

 

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

 

Matters considered by correspondence prior to the virtual meeting.  The Committee considered the following documents:

 

  • MEPC 75/13 (World Coatings Council), providing a set of recommendations to include specific risk assessment criteria to support the decision-making process for adding an anti-fouling system to annex 1 to the AFS Convention;
  • MEPC 76/13/2 (BIMCO and ICS), providing information on an industry standard on in-water cleaning with capture and suggesting that it be included in the review of the Biofouling Guidelines;
  • MEPC 76/INF.29 (Secretariat), providing a status report on FSO SAFER and the work carried out by the Secretariat to date;
  • MEPC 76/INF.63 (REMPEC), providing information on the adoption of a road map for the possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI; and,
  • MEPC 76/INF.65 (FOEI) providing information describing IMO food waste regulation and possible reforms and amendments.

 

Of particular interest in the above documents, that of the Industry standard on in-water cleaning with capture, the Committee instructed the PPR Sub-Committee to consider document MEPC 76/13/2 under agenda item 7 (Review of the 2011 Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimise the transfer of invasive aquatic species (resolution MEPC.207(62)), and to advise the Committee accordingly.

 

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  The next meeting of the Committee, MEPC 77, will be held during the first half of November 2021, however the precise date is subject to interaction with other meetings and any clashes will be resolved during Council meeting C125 in early July.

 

END – Captain Paddy McKnight

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