IMO meeting to consider proposals for accelerated single-hull tanker phase-out, new regulation on carriage of heavy fuel oil
Protection Committee (MEPC) - 50th session: 1 and 4 December 2003
IMO's Marine Environment
Protection Committee (MEPC) meets on 1 and 4 December to consider the adoption
of proposals for an accelerated phase-out scheme for single hull tankers, along
with other measures including an extended application of the Condition Assessment
Scheme (CAS) for tankers and a proposal for a regulation banning the carriage
of Heavy Grades of Oil (HGO) in single-hull tankers.
amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from
Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78)
were initially discussed during the forty-ninth session of the Committee in
July, during which it was agreed to hold the additional MEPC session in December
(the next regular session will meet as scheduled in March-April 2004).
Mr. William O'Neil noted that IMO was the appropriate place for consideration
of the proposals, and stated that there was no room for unilateral measures.
is imperative that safety, security and environmental standards be established
on the basis that they will be applied globally. The role of IMO as the prime
forum for technical matters affecting international shipping should also be
fully recognized," Mr. O'Neil said.
all IMO Members and MARPOL Parties to work together to ensure the success of
the December session of the MEPC, Mr. O'Neil stressed that they should also
act in accordance with all of their obligations under the MARPOL Convention.
is an international industry serving the overwhelming percentage of global trade
and the world economy and it is therefore vital that any standards affecting
the industry be developed and adopted by the international community through
IMO," Mr. O'Neil said.
said he would urge delegates to ensure their decisions were "realistic,
pragmatic and well-balanced so that they will not cause or lead to any negative
repercussions which might:
the concept of universality in the regulation of shipping;
- discriminate against other regions of the world;
- have negative repercussions on the supply of oil;
- undermine the authority of IMO;
- confuse the industry as to which regulations prevail; and
- permit other regions to create their own regimes if in disagreement with IMO."
the July MEPC meeting, a number of points within the overall context of the
proposed draft amendments to MARPOL were left in square brackets (awaiting final
decision). The current meeting will seek to finalize the draft text for adoption.
The MEPC will meet at IMO Headquarters in London, 1 and 4 December 2003, under
the chairmanship of Mr. Andreas Chrysostomou (Cyprus). The meeting runs concurrently
with the 23rd session of the IMO Assembly which meets from 24 November to 5
The proposals to amend MARPOL 73/78, initially submitted by all the fifteen
Member States of the European Union, called 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 status of the proposals following MEPC 49 in July 2003 is as follows, with
further discussion scheduled for the current MEPC session:
MEPC has agreed on an accelerated phase-out for Category 1 tankers (pre-MARPOL
tankers). This would bring forward the final phasing-out date for these
tankers to 2005, from 2007.
proposal to bring forward the phasing-out of category 2 and 3 tankers (MARPOL
tankers and smaller tankers) to 2010, from 2015 received some support in
principle at MEPC 49, but there was also concern relating to the phase-out
of tankers of less than 20 years old in 2010 that this would lead to. There
was a suggested proposal, for further consideration in December, which could
see the operational life of these tankers extending to 2015 or until the
ship reaches a specified age (e.g. 20, 23 or 25 years), subject to satisfactory
results from the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS).
MEPC has agreed, in principle, that the CAS should be applied to single-hull
tankers of 15 years, or older (as against being applicable to all Category
1 vessels continuing to trade after 2005 and all Category 2 vessels after
MEPC has noted the proposed consequential enhancements to the CAS scheme
which would be needed.
relation to the proposed draft regulation on the carriage of Heavy Grades
of Oil (HGO) in single-hull tankers, which would ban the carriage of HGO
in single-hull tankers, the MEPC has agreed on the need for further technical
discussion at the December meeting of the proposed new regulation 13H on
Prevention of oil pollution when carrying heavy grades of oil, in particular
in relation to the physical properties of heavy grades of oil (including
their definition, in relation to density and/or kinematic viscosity) and
in pollution combating.
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility
for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Web site: www.imo.org
Tanker safety: http://www.imo.org/home.asp?topic_id=155
information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Senior External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3153 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (email@example.com).