Ballast water in spotlight

Mar 31 2014


Ahead of this week’s MEPC meeting, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has suggested a number of ways that the IMO could address the ballast water treatment implementation problems.

As previously highlighted in a submission to the MEPC, made by ICS in conjunction with other international shipowner organisations, these problems are perceived to be a lack of robustness of the current IMO type-approval process for new treatment equipment and the criteria to be used for sampling ballast water during Port State Control (PSC) inspections. 

ICS said that it believed the legal changes needed to make the ballast regime fit for purpose are relatively straight forward and could be agreed in principle quickly by IMO member states. Therefore, the ICS suggested that the MEPC might agree a ‘road map’ by way of an MEPC resolution, which - if agreed - could make it easier for additional flag states to ratify the Convention. 

“If so decided, this resolution would provide greater confidence for owners and operators installing treatment equipment, and could help end the current impasse.” said ICS secretary general, Peter Hinchliffe. 

The new ICS position paper has been circulated to maritime administrations by the chamber’s member national shipowners’ associations.

In another move, the ICS has come out in support of a CO2 global reporting system, provided that the mechanism is simple to administer, is primarily based on fuel consumption and that the system itself will not be used for the development of a full blown market based measure.

The ICS has made a detailed submission on the issue to the MEPC saying that it supported the ‘three phase’ approach to the development of a global system proposed by the US. 

MEPC meets for its 66th session this week and among the items on the agenda are the consideration of proposed amendments to the MARPOL to make the audit scheme mandatory; a review of environmental provisions in the draft Polar Code and associated draft amendments to make the Code mandatory and the implementation of energy-efficiency regulations, plus the Ballast Water Management and Ship Recycling Conventions.

Other items on the agenda include a draft amendment on the Tier III implementation date, which will be considered for adoption. This could move the implementation date to 1st January 2021 from 1st January, 2016 if adopted.

Another draft amendment to be considered for adoption is for MARPOL Annex I, the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying. Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code), on mandatory carriage requirements for stability instrument for oil tankers and chemical tankers, plus draft amendments to MARPOL Annex V to update the Record of Garbage Discharge.

In perhaps its most important meeting to date, MEPC will also look at the adoption, draft amendments to the NOx Technical Code, 2008, concerning the use of dual-fuel engines.

Another very important consideration is the timing of the required sulphur review. Depending on the outcome of a review to be completed by 2018 as to the availability of low sulphur compliant fuel oil, the drop in the sulphur cap to 0.1% could be deferred to 1st January 2025, from 2020.

Finally, the MEPC will consider draft ‘Guidelines for the reduction of underwater noise from commercial shipping’, aimed at addressing underwater-radiated noise from vessels, which may have both short- and long-term negative consequences on marine life.



Related News

EM&I – laser scanning could replace tank entry

(Oct 15 2020)

Asset integrity management company EM&I is developing laser scanning methods for tanks on offshore vessels, which could remove the need for people to enter tanks to do inspections.



OCIMF announces temporary remote inspection option for SIRE programme

(Aug 20 2020)

As a temporary measure - and to guard against the spread of COVID-19 - the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is now providing a remote inspection option as an additional tool within its Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) programme.



OCIMF – EBIS transition announcement – MoU signed

(Jun 25 2020)

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) and the European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to transition key elements of EBIS into OCIMF’s Ship Inspection Report (SI...



Out Now - Dynamic Positioning Failure Mode Effects Analysis Assurance Framework Risk-based Guidance

(Jun 25 2020)

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is pleased to announce the publication of the Dynamic Positioning (DP) Failure Mode Effects Analysis Assurance Framework Risk-based Guidance (First Edition) information paper.



Prime Tanker taps innovative data-driven model to mitigate COVID-19 risk

(Jun 25 2020)

ABSG Consulting Inc. (ABS Consulting) has been selected by Prime Tanker Management (Prime) to implement the recently launched Restart Risk Model to help resume operations safely at the company’s facility in Athens, Greece, and mitigate COVID-19 risk....



October 2020

Seafarer morale and safety - Neste and vessel performance - Maersk''s ZeroNorth