In the context of the 63rd session of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), held from 27 February to 2 March 2012, IMO proceeded to the adoption of an important series of substantial guidelines intended to boost the implementation of a set of mandatory technical and operational measures by Member States in a uniform manner. The cardinal objective of these measures is to enhance energy efficiency and curb greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from international shipping.
In particular, MEPC endorsed four types of guidelines aimed at assisting the administrations and the shipping industry in implementing the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships
, adopted in July 2011. These amendments incorporated a new chapter 4 on Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships
to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. The mandatory Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships in MARPOL Annex VI are expected to come into force through the tacit acceptance procedure on 1 January 2013.
The adopted guidelines include:
- 2012 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships;
- 2012 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI);
- Guidelines for calculation of reference lines for use with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI); and
- 2012 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)
MEPC also decided to set up a revised work plan for the elaboration and development of further guidelines on the same issue and to establish energy efficiency frameworks for those ships not covered by the current EEDI Regulations. In addition, the Committee drafted a Resolution on the promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships. The draft will be further discussed at the 64th session of MEPC scheduled for October 2012.
In addition, MEPC considered a number of other equally important issues. In particular, the Committee held an in-depth discussion on market-based measures (MBMs) for greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. The proposed MBMs measures include the introduction of a levy to all greenhouse gas emissions from shipping industry or only to those ships which do not comply with the EEDI requirements, and the establishment of emission trading schemes and schemes based on ships efficiency performance according to both their operation (SEEMP) and design (EEDI). MEPC also elaborated the idea of conducting an impact assessment of the proposed MBMs measures and discussed the relevant methodological tools and criteria. The consultation on MBMs is to be continued at the next session of MEPC to be held in October 2012.
MEPC also adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
(MARPOL) referring to regional arrangements for port reception facilities. These amendments will help small island developing States comply with a set of requirements for port States to provide reception facilities for ship wastes through regional arrangements. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 August 2013. Additionally, the Committee elaborated and adopted guidelines to enable shipping companies and ship-recycling facilities to meet the requirements set forth in the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships
. Besides, MEPC adopted guidelines related to the revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships
. Finally, the Committee gave its green light to a number of ballast water management systems (a “basic” and a “final” approval in accordance with the Procedure for approval of ballast water management systems - G9), following the recommendations made by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group.
Source: International Maritime Organization (IMO)
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