IMO agrees to assess regulations for safe delivery of GHG reductions

What fuels and technologies do we have that can assist shipping in reducing GHG emissions? How safe are they for ships and personnel? Are there obstacles and gaps in current IMO instruments that may impede the use of the alternative fuel or new technology?

These are the first questions that will be addressed in a Correspondence Group to be set up by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee after MSC 107 (31 May to 9 June) agreed to add a new work item to the MSC agenda going forward.

The title of the new item is “Development of a Safety Regulatory Framework to Support the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships Using New Technologies and Alternative Fuels.”

IBIA was one of multiple co-sponsors of in MSC 107/17/21 alongside IMO Member States and other NGOs to a proposal for MSC to take on such a new agenda item to develop a road map to support the safe delivery of the IMO’s GHG reduction strategy.

MSC will act as the coordinating organ for this agenda item, in association with a range of IMO sub-committees as and when requested by MSC. MSC 107 also invited the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to consider being an associated organ.

MSC noted that the work under this output should start with the effort already completed by the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), which should continue its work in accordance with its work plan for the development of alternative fuels and related technologies.

MSC 107 agreed that the scope of this new work item should include identifying and assessing alternative fuels and new technologies; determining if there are obstacles and gaps in the current IMO instruments that may impede their use, then develop and execute a road map to close these gaps. This may result in amendments to existing instruments or development new instruments, including mandatory requirements and/or guidelines.

A Correspondence Group (CG) under the coordination of the United States will start this work and report on progress to MSC 108 in the spring of 2024. Member States and NGOs with consultative status at the IMO can take part in the CG.

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