Revised single-hull tanker phase-out proposals on agenda at IMO environment meeting
Preview: Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) - 49th session: 14-18
Proposals to amend
certain provisions of the MARPOL Convention relating to double- hull tankers
will be among the issues to be discussed during the forthcoming 49th session
of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
will convene for a week-long session at IMO Headquarters in London, from 14-18
July, under the chairmanship of Mr. Andreas Chrysostomou (Cyprus).
on a busy agenda include ballast water management, greenhouse gas emissions
from ships and ship recycling.
amend MARPOL 73/78
The proposals to amend MARPOL 73/78, submitted by all the fifteen Member States
of the European Union, call for further acceleration of the phase-out timetable
for single-hull tankers, an immediate ban on the carriage of heavy grades of
oil in single-hull tankers and for the Condition Assessment Scheme (adopted
in 2001 in the wake of the 1999 Erika incident) to be applied to tankers of
15 years of age and above.
The proposals have already been circulated among all IMO Member States and Parties
at its 90th session in June, sanctioned the possibility of holding an additional
meeting of the MEPC this year in December. MEPC 49 will therefore be able to
consider whether the holding of such a meeting is necessary, so that any measures
arising from the proposals could be formally adopted.
To ensure IMO Member States have as much relevant information as possible to
hand when they consider the proposals, IMO Secretary-General William O'Neil
reactivated the Informal Group of Experts, which was first commissioned in 2000
to assess the likely effect of post-Erika proposals, to study the impact of
the new proposals now submitted. The completed study, undertaken by independent
experts nominated by industry organizations, will be available to delegates
when they consider the new proposals. It takes into account criteria such as
the volume of oil and oil products carried by oil tankers world-wide and by
region; the number of single-hull tankers to be affected by the proposals; the
capacity of shipyards needed to replace the single-hull tankers that would be
withdrawn from service compared with the capacity of shipyards available world-wide;
and the annual scrapping capacity of ship-recycling facilities.
a West European PSSA
MEPC will also consider a proposal for Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain
and the United Kingdom to designate a Particularly sensitive Sea Area (PSSA)
to cover a wide sea area west of these countries together with the associated
protective measures for prohibition of the carriage of heavy oils by single
hull tankers - which is identical to the requirements proposed as part of the
amendments to the MARPOL convention.
will also consider a proposal from Australia and Papua New Guinea for the extension
of the Great Barrier Reef PSSA to cover Torres Strait Region, together with
the associated protective measures; ad the Paracas National Reserve PSSA in
management - draft convention
The MEPC will be invited to conduct an article-by-article review of the draft
International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water
and Sediments, taking into account the report of the second intersessional meeting
of the Ballast Water Working Group. It is expected that the draft Convention
will be finalized at this session through the Ballast Water Working Group for
circulation to the planned Diplomatic Conference, set to be held in early 2004.
of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water was first raised at IMO in 1988
and since then the MEPC, together with MSC and technical sub-committees, has
been dealing with the issue. In order to help developing countries understand
the problem and monitor the situation, IMO is implementing the GEF/UNDP/IMO
Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast) and has provided technical
support and expertise.
of invasive species is largely due to the expanded trade and traffic volume
over the last few decades. The effects in the waters of Australia, Canada and
the United States as well as the Black Sea have been devastating. Volumes of
seaborne trade continue overall to increase and the problem may not yet have
reached its peak.
The MEPC is expected to finalise a draft Assembly resolution on IMO policies
and practices related to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
MEPC 49 will
also be invited to review the status of MARPOL Annex VI on air pollution, including
identification of the impediments to entry into force of the Annex, bearing
in mind that the entry into force conditions had not been met by 31 December
The MEPC is expected to finalize the draft IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling
for submission to the 23rd Assembly later this year for adoption.
guidelines recognize that, while the principle of ship recycling may be sound,
the working practices and environmental standards in the yards often leave much
to be desired. While ultimate responsibility for conditions in the yards has
to lie with the countries in which they are situated, other stakeholders must
be encouraged to contribute towards minimising potential problems in the yards.
The guidelines will give advice to all stakeholders in the recycling process,
including administrations of ship building and maritime equipment supplying
countries, flag, port and recycling states, as well as intergovernmental organizations
and commercial bodies such as shipowners, ship builders, repairers and recycling
and resolutions to be adopted
The following MEPC resolutions are expected to be adopted at this session:
resolution on Tripartite Agreement
resolution on Revised Guidelines for the approval of the alternative methods
of design of oil tankers under regulation13F(5) of Annex I of MARPOL 73/78
resolution on Guidelines for on-board NOx verification procedure
resolution on revised Guidelines and specifications for pollution control
equipment for machinery space bilges of ships
resolution on Revised Guidelines and specifications for oil discharge monitoring
and control systems for oil tankers
resolution on Guidelines for inspections of ships' anti-fouling systems
of MARPOL to FPSOs and FSUs
The MEPC is expected to approve an MEPC circular on Guidelines for the application
of MARPOL Annex I requirements to FPSOs and FSUs.
the revised text of MARPOL Annex I and Annex II
The MEPC will also consider with a view to approval the new versions of Annex
I and Annex II of the MARPOL Convention, together with the proposed new categorization
system for noxious and liquid substances. Requirements for the carriage of vegetable
oils will be considered.
Other important matters on the MEPC agenda at this session include:
The MEPC will review for adoption by MEPC resolution two sets of draft guidelines
relating to the 2001 International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling
Systems on Ships: draft Guidelines for brief sampling of anti-fouling systems
and draft Guidelines for inspections of ships anti-fouling systems. The guidelines
have been developed by the Sub-Committee on flag State Implementation.
of the OPRC Convention and the OPRC-HNS Protocol
The MEPC will be invited to consider a revised draft of the guidance document
on bioremediation; the draft Terms of Reference for an OPRC and OPRC-HNS Protocol
Technical Group; a progress report from the Correspondence Group on the Review
of the Manual on Chemical Pollution; and an action plan to promote the recommendations
of the Third Research and Development Forum on High Density Oil Response.
11 July 2003
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