List of amendments expected to enter into force this year and in the coming years

Includes certain other specified "effective dates"

8 April 2019 - electronic data exchange under FAL Convention

Under the revised Annex to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), from 8 April 2019, it becomes mandatory for ships and ports to exchange FAL data electronically. The revised Convention also encourages use of the so-called “single window” concept in which all the many agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact.

1 September 2019 MARPOL Annex VI amendments

Amendment to Regulation 13 – Nitrogen oxides (NOX) to make clearer emission control areas for NOx, by replacing the words "an emission control area designated under paragraph 6 of this regulation" with the words "a NOX Tier III emission control area"; Amendments to Regulation 21 – Required EEDI to update the reference values for Ro-ro cargo ship and Ro-ro passenger ship.

13 October 2019 Amendments to the BWM Convention

The amendments to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) relate to the implementation of the treaty, including the schedule for ships to comply with the requirement to meet the so-called D-2 standard (amendments to section B).

Other amendments (to sections A and D) make mandatory the Code for approval of ballast water management systems, which was also be adopted at the session. Further amendments relate to section E on survey and certification.

1 January 2020 - MARPOL Annex VI 0.50% sulphur limit

The global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) enters into effect from 1 January 2020. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxide emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts. Seehere for further information.

1 January 2020 - SOLAS amendments, amendments to Codes

Amendments adopted by MSC 96:

  • Amendments to SOLAS regulations III/3 and III/20 to make mandatory the Requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear. This package of provisions aims to prevent accidents with survival craft and addresses longstanding issues such as the need for a uniform, safe and documented standard related to the servicing of these appliances, as well as the authorization, qualification and certification requirements to ensure that a reliable service is provided. The adoption of the amendment and requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair represents the culmination of some ten years work on the issue. The intention is to ensure that seafarers can be confident that they can fully rely on the IMO-mandated life-saving appliances and equipment at their disposal.
  • Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/13 to extend the requirements for evacuation analysis to all passenger ships, not just ro-ro passenger ships (Associated revised guidelines on evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships).
  • Amendment 38-16 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, to reflect latest changes to the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.
  • Amendments to the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, 2009 (2009 MODU Code), to align it with the new provisions of chapter 17 of the FSS Code.
  • Amendments to chapter 8 of the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code) regarding prevention of internal corrosion and clogging of sprinklers and a new chapter 17 of the FSS Code, containing mandatory requirements for helicopter facility foam firefighting appliances.

Amendments adopted by MSC 97:

  • Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-12 on protection against noise, regulations II-2/1 and II-2/10 on firefighting and new regulation XI-1/2-1 on harmonization of survey periods of cargo ships not subject to the ESP Code.
  • Amendments to the 2008 International code on Intact Stability (IS Code), relating to ships engaged in anchor handling operations and to ships engaged in lifting and towing operations, including escort towing. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020.
  • Amendments to the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code), clarifying the distribution of crew in public spaces for the calculation of stairways width. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020.
  • Amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), aligning the wheelhouse window fire-rating requirements in the IGC Code with those in SOLAS chapter II-2. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020.