The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meets for its 65th session from 13 to 17 May 2013, at IMO Headquarters in London.
Items on the busy agenda include the implementation of energy-efficiency regulations and the ballast water management and ship-recycling treaties.
Further guidelines on energy-efficiency measures for ships to be considered
The MEPC is expected to continue its work on further developing technical and operational measures relating to energy-efficiency measures for ships, following the entry into force, on January 2013, of the new chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, which includes requirements mandating the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), for all ships.
The Committee will review draft guidance developed by a correspondence group, including:
• draft guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions;
• draft guidance on treatment of innovative energy-efficiency technologies for calculation and verification of the attained EEDI; and
• draft guidelines for the calculation of the coefficient fw for decrease in ship speed in a representative sea condition.
Resolution on technical cooperation for energy efficiency measures to be discussed
The MEPC is expected to further consider the draft MEPC Resolution on “Promotion of Technical Co-operation and Transfer of Technology relating to the Improvement of Energy Efficiency of Ships”, with a view to its adoption.
Update of GHG emissions estimate expected to get go-ahead
The MEPC is expected to agree on the development of a study for an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions’ estimate for international shipping, following discussion in an expert workshop, which met earlier this year, on the methodology and assumptions to be used.
The new study would focus on updating key figures in the current (second) IMO GHG Study (2009), which estimated that international shipping emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7%, of the global man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2007.
The MEPC is also expected to consider the methodology and criteria for a comprehensive impact assessment of proposed market-based measures to reduce GHG emissions, which would complement the technical and operational measures already adopted.
Draft NOx Technical Code amendments to be considered
The MEPC is expected to consider, for approval with a view to subsequent adoption, draft amendments to the NOx Technical Code, 2008, concerning use of dual-fuel engines.
Guidelines for implementation of MARPOL Annex VI regulation 13 (nitrogen oxides) to be considered
The MEPC will consider draft guidelines, as required by regulation 13.2.2 of MARPOL Annex VI, in respect of non-identical replacement engines not required to meet the Tier III limit; and a draft unified interpretation on the “time of the replacement or addition” of an engine for the applicable NOx Tier standard for the supplement to the IAPP Certificate.
The final report of the Correspondence Group on the Review of the Status of the Technological Developments to Implement the Tier III NOx Emissions Standard will be considered by the Committee.
Ballast water management systems up for approval
The MEPC will consider the reports of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth meetings of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group (held during 2012-2013), with a view to granting Basic Approval to three, and Final Approval to four, ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances.
The MEPC will consider the text of a draft IMO Assembly resolution on the application of regulation B-3 of the BWM Convention to ease and facilitate the smooth implementation of the Convention, for submission to the28th session of the IMO Assembly (25 November to 5 December 2013).
The MEPC will also be invited to approve BWM-related guidance, among which is the Guidance concerning ballast water sampling and analysis for trial use.
The MEPC is also expected to adopt a draft revised MEPC resolution regarding information reporting on type-approved ballast water management systems.
MARPOL amendments to make RO Code mandatory to be adopted
The MEPC is expected to adopt draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and II to make mandatory the Code for Recognized Organizations (ROs). The Code will provide a consolidated text containing criteria against which ROs (which may be authorized by flag States to carry out surveys and issue certificates on their behalf) are assessed and authorized/recognized, and give guidance for subsequent monitoring of ROs by Administrations.
Also up for adoption are draft amendments to Form A and Form B of Supplements to the IOPP Certificate; and amendments to the Condition Assessment Scheme, to make reference to the International Code on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers, 2011 (2011 ESP Code).
Recycling of ships – hazardous materials inventory to be reviewed
The MEPC is expected to further discuss the development of threshold values and exemptions applicable to the materials to be listed in inventories of hazardous materials taking into account the outcome of a correspondence group, and to consider the need to amend, accordingly, the 2011 Guidelines for the development of the inventory of hazardous materials, required under the treaty.
Guidance on evaluating biofouling guidelines to be approved
The MEPC is expected to approve a draft MEPC circular on Guidance for evaluating the 2011 Guidelines for the control and management of ships' biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species.