MEPC 71: Items of interest

MEPC 71: Items of interest

Work is continuing on a review of the 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, work will start on exempting ships not normally engaged in international voyages from having to have a SEEMP, and a new Chair has been elected for the Marine Environment Protection Committee.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and MEPC Chair Arsenio Dominguez at MEPC 71 (Photo: IMO)

MEPC 71 was the final session to be chaired by Arsenio Dominguez of Panama, who will shortly take up a new role as Chief of Staff at the International Maritime Organization.

The new Chair, elected last week, is Hideaki Saito (Japan) while Harry Conway (Liberia) was elected as Vice-Chair, both for 2018.

MEPC 71 had two documents submitted under a new agenda item agreed at MEPC 69, to review the 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems. Both documents were forwarded to the next meeting of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5) for consideration.

The two papers, submitted by a group of European countries, seek to provide clarification regarding the consistency and practicability of the Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems, without weakening the level of protection to the marine environment provided by the existing Guidelines, and identify a need for harmonization of procedures to ensure an adequate confidence level and comparability in different washwater sampling and analysis campaigns.

Another item that may be of interest to members as it would apply to many bunker tankers came from Korea, proposing to add a new item on the agenda to develop amendments to chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI in relation to ships that are not normally engaged on international voyages, but are expected to undertake a single international voyage in exceptional circumstances.

“In accordance with regulation 19 of chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, if such a ship engages in a single international voyage for the purpose of sales of the ship or repair rather than for-profit activities through transportation of cargo or passengers, it is required to have Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) on board and to be issued with an International Energy Efficiency Certificate (IEEC),” the paper noted.

MEPC 71 agreed to include a new output on “Development of amendments to regulation 19 of MARPOL Annex VI and development of an associated Exemption Certificate for the exemption of ships not normally engaged on international voyages”.

The work was assigned to the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III Sub-Committee) which is expected to take two sessions to complete it.

Report by Unni Einemo:

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