The IMO has scheduled an extra meeting in July in order to make timely progress on preparations for the 0.50% sulphur limit, and agreed to fast-track the development of guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020.
The 72nd session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) authorized an Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI, scheduled for 9 to 13 July 2018, to report its outcome concerning the development of guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020 to MEPC 73, for consideration.
The intersessional meeting was agreed at the 5th session of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), which drafted a comprehensive plan for developing IMO guidelines for implementation of the 2020 sulphur limit.
The guidelines should cover:
- Preparatory and transitional issues, relating to how ships can prepare for implementation, including calculations of how long prior to 1 January 2020 they need to begin cleaning out fuel tanks and fuel systems;
- Assessing impact on fuel and machinery systems resulting from using new fuel blends or fuel types;
- Verification issues and control mechanisms and actions, including monitoring measures that can be used by port State control to effectively target non-compliance and how to deal with in-use fuel oil samples;
- Fuel oil non-availability, including guidance on how to deal with various situations, information sharing and a standard format for reporting non-availability;
- Safety implications relating to the option of blending fuels;
- Other useful guidance/information that assists Member States and stakeholders, including guidance addressing quality assurance and integrity of the supply chain and on the importance of fuel oil management on board.
The intersessional meeting in July will work also on the development of draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI:
1. Definition of Sulphur content (regulation 2)
This item was agreed based on PPR 5/13/9 submitted by IBIA, proposing adding a definition of “sulphur content” based on ISO 8754 so that sulphur testing undertaken by authorities to verify compliance with MARPOL sulphur limits would be consistent.
A new proposal by China to MEPC 72 to include both ISO 8754 and ISO 14596 sulphur test methods in the definition will also be considered by the intersessional meeting.
- Testing and verification procedure of in-use fuel oil samples (amendments to regulation 14 and associated consequential amendments to regulation 18 and appendix VI)
Multiple approaches are on the table including PPR 5/12/1 from IBIA proposing suitable guidelines for sulphur verification of the in-use sample, to regard such samples testing within 95% confidence limits as compliant. There is also talk of amending Appendix VI to MARPOL Annex VI, which contains the sulphur verification procedure for MARPOL samples, so it deals with both MARPOL and in-use samples.
The deadline for proposals to the July intersessional meeting is May 25.
IBIA once again encourage our members to share their views and ideas for making the guidelines effective and helpful with your IMO representative, Unni Einemo. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org