Revised MARPOL annex I, Annex II and IBC Code adopted at environment meeting
Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) - 52nd session: 11-15 October 2004
Revised regulations to prevent marine pollution by ships carrying oil or chemicals were adopted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), when it met for its 52nd session from 11-15 October 2004.
The MEPC also designated the Oman Area of the Arabian Seas as a special area and the Western European Waters as a new Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). Work also continued on other issues including guidelines on ballast water management, ship recycling and prevention of air pollution.
It incorporates the various amendments adopted since MARPOL entered into force in 1983, including the amended regulation 13G (regulation 20 in the revised annex) and regulation 13H (regulation 21 in the revised annex) on the phasing-in of double hull requirements for oil tankers. It also separates, in different chapters, the construction and equipment provisions from the operational requirements and makes clear the distinctions between the requirements for new ships and those for existing ships. The revision provides a more user-friendly, simplified Annex I.
New requirements in the revised Annex I include the following:
The MEPC also adopted a resolution giving explanatory notes on matters related to the accidental oil outflow performance required under regulation 23.
The MEPC approved the revised Unified Interpretations to the revised MARPOL Annex I and a Circular on cross-reference lists between the "old" and "new" regulations of MARPOL Annex I which is intended to facilitate familiarisation with the new numbering system of the revised Annex I.
The other special areas in Annex I are: Mediterranean Sea area; Baltic Sea area; Black Sea area; Red Sea area; "Gulfs" area; Gulf of Aden area; Antarctic area; and North West European Waters. In the special areas, there are stricter controls on discharge of oily wastes.
Annex II (noxious liquid substances carried in bulk)
The new categories
The revised annex includes a number of other significant changes. Improvements in ship technology, such as efficient stripping techniques, has made possible significantly lower permitted discharge levels of certain products which have been incorporated into Annex II. For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007 the maximum permitted residue in the tank and its associated piping left after discharge will be set at a maximum of 75 litres for products in categories X, Y and Z - compared with previous limits which set a maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category.
Alongside the revision of Annex II, the marine pollution hazards of thousands of chemicals have been evaluated by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group, giving a resultant GESAMP2 Hazard Profile which indexes the substance according to its bio-accumulation; bio-degradation; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; long-term health effects; and effects on marine wildlife and on benthic habitats.
As a result of the hazard evaluation process and the new categorization system, vegetable oils which were previously categorized as being unrestricted will now be required to be carried in chemical tankers. The revised Annex includes, under regulation 4 Exemptions, provision for the Administration to exempt ships certified to carry individually identified vegetable oils, subject to certain provisions relating to the location of the cargo tanks carrying the identified vegetable oil.
amendments to the IBC Code
Ships constructed after 1986 carrying substances identified in chapter 17 of the IBC Code must follow the requirements for design, construction, equipment and operation of ships contained in the Code.
There are now seven designated PSSAs: the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (designated a PSSA in 1990); the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago in Cuba (1997); Malpelo Island, Colombia (2002); Around the Florida Keys, United States (2002); the Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands (2002); Paracas National Reserve, Peru (2003); and Western European Waters (2004).
In relation to the proposed extension of the existing Great Barrier Reef PSSA to include the Torres Strait Region, the MEPC agreed to refer the legal aspects of compulsory pilotage in straits used for international navigation to the Legal Committee for advice.
Review of PSSA
organisms in ballast water
Member Governments were urged to work towards ratification of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, adopted in February 2004.
The Working Group on Ship Recycling developed an initial list of the elements of the Guidelines for which a mandatory scheme might be regarded as the most suitable option for their implementation. In considering how the implementation of such a possible mandatory scheme could be achieved, the Working Group agreed that a new IMO instrument could be developed with a view to providing legally binding and globally applicable ship recycling regulations and that further work was needed before a concrete proposal could be made on this issue.
Regarding the reporting system for ships destined for recycling, the MEPC developed, as a starting point, a draft outline of this system in order to identify, in a schematic way, what should be reported, to where and by whom. It was noted that additional work was needed for the further development of this system with the aim of considering, amongst other issues, the appropriate time-frame for the reporting, a harmonized reporting format and the possible need for additional flow of information between the involved stakeholders.
The MEPC approved the Guidelines for the development of the ship recycling plan, which provide further technical information and guidance for the preparation of a suitable ship recycling plan (SRP), as recommended in section 8.3.2 of the IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling.
The MEPC agreed that a "single list" of the potentially hazardous materials on board should be developed replacing the existing Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of the IMO Guidelines and providing guidance on the identification of potentially hazardous materials on board ships and the preparation of the relevant inventories.
The MEPC considered a proposal to establish an International Ship Recycling Fund with the aim of facilitating the technical co-operation activities for capacity building, training and the necessary funding mechanisms.
It was agreed that the ship recycling should be included in the future thematic priorities of the Organization's Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP) with the aim of assisting developing countries to improve environment and safety level in ship recycling operations and the Technical Co-operation Committee was invited to consider further the arrangements to establish a dedicated fund.
The MEPC noted the continued co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the relevant bodies of the Basel Convention on ship recycling. The first Joint ILO/IMO/BC Working Group on Ship Scrapping is scheduled to take place at IMO Headquarters from 15 to 17 February 2005.
The MEPC, taking into account the need to progress the work on ship recycling issues in an expeditious manner:
The MEPC further reviewed the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI which were approved at previous sessions of the Committee, with a view to their adoption at MEPC 53. The draft amendments relate to the designation of the North Sea area as a "SOx Emission Control Area" and the introduction of the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification into MARPOL Annex VI. In addition, the Committee instructed the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment to consider a number of proposed Unified Interpretations.
The Committee made progress on developing draft Guidelines on the CO2 Indexing Scheme and urged Members to carry out trials using the scheme and to report to the next session. One purpose of developing guidelines on CO2emission indexing is to develop a simple system that could be used voluntarily by ship operators during a trial period.
The Committee agreed that a CO2 indexing scheme should be simple and easy to apply and take into consideration matters related to construction and operation of the ship, and market based incentives.
Meanwhile, the Committee recognized that IMO guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions have to address all six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol (Carbon dioxide (CO2); Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxide (N2O); Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
Oil and HNS
Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation
Following work by the Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC)/OPRC-HNS (Hazardous and Noxious Substances) Technical Group, the MEPC approved draft Guidelines on facilitation of response to pollution incidents for submission to the 24th Assembly in November 2005 for adoption.
The MEPC also approved OPRC Model Training Courses (Introductory course and Levels 1, 2 and 3).
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility
for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution