New marine pollution regulations enter into force

PHOTO: Tonye Bakare

IMO celebrates 70 years with Queen Elizabeth
As the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) celebrates its 70 years anniversary, the organisation has confirmed that the ship fuel oil reporting requirements and amendments to the regulation for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships have entered into force.

Entered into force on March 1, ship fuel oil consumption data reporting requirements, otherwise known as Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), are aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping. The data collection will begin on January 1, 2019, with data reported to IMO at the end of each calendar year.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II was part of the high point of the celebration at IMO Headquarters in London, accompanied by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, as they both unveiled a commemorative plaque and cut an anniversary cake.

Queen Elizabeth also met some of the guests attending the event, including representatives of IMO Member States, inter-governmental and international non-governmental organizations, and IMO Secretariat staff.

Lim said: “We are celebrating 70 years of achievement, in which the truly vital industry of shipping has become safer, cleaner and greener, thanks to the work of IMO. We are also looking ahead to the exciting new challenges on the horizon.

“Billions of ordinary people, all over the world, rely on shipping every day of their lives, even if they don’t realise it or understand it. It is our role to ensure shipping can continue to make this vital contribution to global well-being,” Lim added.

The Convention on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was adopted on 6 March 1948 at the United Nations Maritime Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. The convention entered into force 10 years later, on 17 March 1958, when the 21st State ratified the treaty. IMO’s first meeting was held in London on 6 January 1959, at Church House in central London.

However, the data collection system in MARPOL is intended to equip IMO with concrete data on fuel oil consumption, which should assist member states in making decisions about any further measures needed to enhance energy efficiency and address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
The mandatory requirements were adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in 2016, through amendments to chapter 4 of annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Under the new Regulation 22A on collection and reporting of ship fuel oil consumption data, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above are required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. These ships account for approximately 85 per cent of CO2 emissions from international shipping.

In addition, on or before December 31, 2018, in the case of a ship of 5,000 gross tonnage and above, the mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) is to include a description of the methodology for collecting the data and the processes that will be used to report the data to the ship’s flag state.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex V on Prevention of pollution by garbage from ships also entered into force on March 1, 2018. They relate to cargo residues of products, which are hazardous to the marine environment (HME) and a new Garbage Record Book format.

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