IMO MEPC74 roundup

May 23 2019

This brief provides an overview of the more significant issues progressed at MEPC74 held between 13th and 17th May, 2019, courtesy of ABS

MEPC74 approved amendments to MARPOL Annex VI regulations 1, 2, 14, 18, 2021 and appendices I and VI of MARPOL with a view to adoption at MEPC75.

The amendments will -

*Provide definitions of sulfur content, low flashpoint fuel, MARPOL delivered sample, in-use sample and on board sample.

*Require mandatory reporting of required and attained EEDI and other relevant information for ships subject to Regulation 21 (required EEDI).

*Accelerate EEDI Phase 3 in 2022 (from 2025) and increase the reduction factors for specific ship types/sizes

*Amend the EEDI reference line parameters for bulk carriers. (Increase the required EEDI for large bulkers above 279,000 dwt).

*Amend the supplement of the IAPP Certificate for confirmation of the designated sampling point.

*Simplify the verification procedure in appendix VI of MARPOL annex VI for the ‘MARPOL delivered fuel oil sample’ and to add verification procedure for the ‘in-use sample’ and the ‘on board sample’.

To ensure a consistent approach to verifying the sulfur limit of the fuel oil delivered to, in-use or carried for use on board ship until the entry into force of the approved amendments, the MEPC74 approved MEPC.1/Circ.881 inviting member governments to apply the approved amendments related to the verification procedure, in advance of their entry into force.

Addressing draft 2019 guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.5% sulfur limit, taking into account the 1st January, 2020 global implementation of the sulfur limit and the 1st March, 2020 carriage ban of non-compliant fuel, the Committee adopted Guidelines, which will be published as a Resolution shortly.

The draft final fuel oil non-availability report (FONAR) is included in the Guideline. FONAR is to include a description of the voyage plan, evidence of past attempts, and future plans, to obtain compliant fuel, operational constraints that prevented the use of compliant fuel and records of previously filed FONARs.

Port State Control (PSC) - MEPC74 also adopted amendments to the 2009 PSC Guidelines intended to provide basic guidance on the conduct of PSC inspections for compliance with MARPOL Annex VI and afford consistency in the conduct of these inspections, the recognition of deficiencies and the application of control procedures.

The 2019 PSC Guidelines would be issued as an MEPC Resolution to support the consistent and effective implementation of the global 0.5% sulfur limit. A new appendix included in the revised Guidelines, providing guidance to PSC officers in the case that non-availability of compliant fuel is claimed by a ship used FONAR.

MEPC74 approved the subject Guidance, which will be published as a circular. This new Circular provides guidance to the PSC, flag state, ship operators and other stakeholders concerned on how the ship should handle the remaining non-complaint fuel on board after a FONAR.

In the case of non-compliant fuel oil, communication between the ship and PSC should occur. The ship and PSC should consider possible contingency measures, such as actions predetermined in the Ship Implementation Plan (SIP), discharging non-compliant fuel oil to another ship to be carried as cargo, or to an appropriate shipboard or land-based facility, managing the non-compliant fuel oil, modifying sailing or bunkering schedules and/or retention of non-compliant fuel oil on board the ship.

After the non-May 17, 2019 compliant fuel oil is completely used or discharged, further actions should include the possibility of cleaning and/or flushing through or dilution of remaining residues by using compliant fuel oil with the lowest sulfur content available.

The Committee also issued a draft circular on Guidance regarding temporary indication of ongoing compliance in the case of the failure of a single monitoring instrument, and recommended actions to take if the EGCS fails to meet the provisions of the guidelines.

The Guidance was approved as applicable for those ships that will operate an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS),which will provide guidance to the attention of administrations, PSC authorities, industry, relevant shipping organisations, shipping companies and other stakeholders concerned on how they should handle unexpected issues during the operation of an EGCS, such as:

•System malfunction that leads to emission exceedance

•Short-terms exceedances of the applicable Emissions Ratio

•Interim indication of on-going compliance in the case of sensor failure.

Any EGCS malfunction that lasts more than one hour or repetitive malfunctions should be reported to the flag and PSC along with an explanation of the steps the ship operator is taking to address the failure. At their discretion, the flag and PSC could take such information and other relevant circumstances into account to determine the appropriate action to take in the case of an EGCS malfunction, including not taking action.

Also discussed were draft amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships.

The Committee adopted amendments to the current 2018 EEDI Calculation Guidelines introducing a new factor(fm) for ice-classed ships having IA Super and IA. The committee also noted a new section 3 describing the information to be reported to the EEDI database for every ship subject to Regulation 21 (Required EEDI) for adoption at the next session).

Information to be reported are as follows:

Applicable EEDI phase (eg phase 1, phase 2, etc);

Identification number (IMO Secretariat use only);

Ship type;

Common commercial size reference, if available;

DWT or GT - as appropriate;

Year of delivery;

Required EEDI value;

Attained EEDI value;

Dimensional parameters

Vref (knots) and PME (kW);

Use of innovative technologies;

Short statement describing the principal design elements or changes employed to achieve the attained EEDI -(as appropriate- if available;

Type of fuel used in the calculation of the attained EEDI, and for dual fuel engines, the fDFgas ratio; and

Ice class designation - if applicable.

The above information is not required to be reported for ships for which the required and attained EEDI values had been already reported to IMO.


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