The 69th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Committee on The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 69) was held from 18 to 22 April 2016.
Major items discussed were as follows:
- IMO approves amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to incorporate a mandatory fuel consumption data collection system for all ships above 5000 GT – Read more as reported by MFAME – IMO Mandates – “Fuel Consumption Reporting Rule” – How to Address it?
- Work to improve the G8 ballast water guidelines continues – MFAME will bring you more information on it in the coming week.
- Early Ballast Water movers not penalized – The “Good Guys” have to be protected.
- Exemptions for ships undertaking a single international voyage – At MEPC 68, which was held in the spring of 2015, the question was raised, whether a ship should carry a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (socalled SEEMP) on board, in case the ship is not engaged in international voyages, but is required to undertake a single international voyage. Due to limited time available, MEPC 68 could not conclude on the matter, why it was referred to this session. MEPC 69 discussed the issue and decided to issue a circular explaining the exceptional circumstances (e.g. to-and-from the repair yard, or on its maiden voyage etc.), where the Administration can exempt the ship from complying with the SEEMP regulation as set out in chapter 4 of Annex VI. The Secretariat will publish the MEPC Circular when it is released by the IMO Secretariat.
- Discharge of sewage from passenger ships – Read more as reported by MFAME – Baltic Sea – IMO Restricts Sewage Discharge.
- Port Reception Facilities – the neverending story where the port reception facilities are inadequate to receive the cargo hold washwater containing solid bulk cargo residues deemed harmful to the marine environment. There is yet no conclusion arrived at though BIMCO and others have submitted a draft proposal on the same.
Surprisingly, there were no discussions on the fuel quality standards ISO 8217:2016 draft proposed. Though Viswa Lab and other organizations have been raising concerns that the 2016 standards are favouring suppliers and not the fuel user community, it seems none had interest when it comes to the fuel quality standards and ultimately it is the poor seafarers who will suffer due to bad fuel quality.
Will I.M.O or the MEPC ever look into it?
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily MFAME Team.