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MEPC Meeting, The 70th Session Highlights

The 70th session for the Marine Environment Protection Committee took place last week to discuss a number of topics, but we are focussing on the three most discussed:

  • Global sulphur cap implementation date to be considered
  • Implementation of the BWM Convention
  • The adoption of a mandatory data collection system for fuel consumption

Chaired by Mr Arsenio Dominguez of Panama, the event was attended by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) members, associate members, and parties from MARPOL. We take a look at the above 3 topics in a bit more detail.

Sulphur Cap Implementation For The Shipping Industry

The IMO has taken the decision to set a sulphur fuel cap limit from 1st January 2020, this will be set at 0.5% m/m (mass/mass) this is a significant cut from the current cap which sits at 3.5% m/m. This decision will reflect the IMO’s commitment to both the environment as well as human health, and ensure that shipping remains the most environmentally friendly mode of transport.

“The reductions in sulphur oxide emissions resulting from the lower global sulphur cap are expected to have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and on human health, particularly that of people living in port cities and coastal communities, beyond the existing emission control areas” – IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

You can find out more about the Sulphur Fuel Cap by visiting the IMO Site.

Implementation Of The Ballast Water Management Convention

The hot topic of the moment is the BWM convention, which was ratified back in September by Finland, pushing the number of members states to use the convention to over 35. The convention itself will come into force September 2017, and Panama is the latest state to comply with the BWM convention, bringing the treaty up to 53.28%.

"I am heartened by the fact we now have more than half of the world merchant shipping tonnage signed up to this treaty, which will not only minimize the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, setting clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships" – IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

It is the spread of invasive species which are transported through the ballast system which is one of the main causes of ecological damage to the planet, with this treaty in place the aim is to reduce the spread of these species and halt the decline to environment in doing so.

You can find out more on the BWM Convention discussion at the MEPC 70th session here.

Mandatory Data Collection System For Fuel Consumption

One of the decisions the IMO has taken is to monitor the fuel consumption of ships over 5,000 gross tonnage. The new requirement will mean that every one of these ships will have to collate data on the consumption of each fuel type they use on their ship and other data which may help identify trends. Once this data is collected, it will be used by the IMO to ensure that correct regulations and decisions around these are implemented.

Find out more about how the IMO will use this data to implement a 3-step plan to reduce emissions.

Edmund Hughes from the IMO will be discussing the Update on International Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency for Ships and How Ship Owners and Operators Are Meeting the Continuing Challenges of Reducing Vessels' Environmental Footprint at Green Ship Technology North America Conference on 15-17th November

Resources: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/IMOMediaAccreditation/Pages/MEPC-70.aspx http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/alfa-laval-puresox-offers-cost-effective-compliance-with-the-2020-global-sulphur-cap/ http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/Home.aspx http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/28-MEPC-data-collection--.aspx http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/MEPC-70-2020sulphur.aspx http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/BallastWaterManagement/Pages/Default.aspx

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