Media information – MEPC 76 preview


Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)  - 76th session, 10-17 June 2021 

MEPC 76 will be held remotely, from 10-17 June 2021   

Documents and media accreditation  

Media accreditation:  - accredited media will be given individual access to follow the live stream,  T&C here:  
Publicly available MEPC documents may be accessed via IMODOCS (registration required) (MEPC 76 documents) 


Key topics on the agenda include action to tackle climate change, including the adoption of short-term measures to cut carbon intensity of ships and discussion on the way forward with the next steps.   

The meeting will be opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and will be chaired by Mr. Hideaki Saito (Japan). The Vice-Chair is Mr. Harry Conway (Liberia). 

 Adoption of amendments 

 The MEPC will consider, with a view to adoption: 

  • draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI including EEXI and CII. (see below)

  • draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I to prohibit the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters (see below)  

  • draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I and IV concerning the exemption of unmanned non-self-propelled (UNSP) barges from survey and certification requirements  (see below) 

  • draft amendments to the AFS Convention to include controls on the biocide cybutryne (see below) 

Tackling climate change - cutting GHG emissions from ships 

 IMO is committed to cutting GHG emissions from ships. Mandatory measures were first adopted in 2011 (see ); and the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Shipping was adopted in 2018. (see ) 

Adoption of short-term measure 

The MEPC will consider, with a view to adoption, draft amendments to the MARPOL convention that would require ships for a combined technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008.  

The draft amendments have been incorporated into a draft consolidated MARPOL Annex VI for consideration with a view to adoption.  

The MEPC will consider draft related guidelines finalized by the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG GHG 8) which met 24-28 May. (see ) 

 An impact assessment of the short-term measure has been conducted and will be considered by the Committee. (The impact assessment report is contained in documents MEPC76/7/13 and MEPC 76/INF.68 and addenda). 

Future work 

The MEPC is expected to discuss a number of submissions on how to progress the next stages of IMO’s work to cut GHG emissions form ships, leading to the revision of the initial GHG strategy in 2023.  

The MEPC will have for consideration a number of proposals from Member States and industry for candidate mid- and long-term measures to incentivize the move away from fossil fuels to low- and zero-carbon fuels to achieve decarbonization of international shipping.   

Other amendments 

Draft amendments to MARPOL - prohibiting HFO in the Arctic 

The MEPC will consider with a view to adoption, draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I (addition of a new regulation 43A) to introduce a prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters on and after 1 July 2024. 

 The prohibition would cover the use and carriage for use as fuel of oils having a density at 15°C higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50°C higher than 180 mm2/s. Ships engaged in securing the safety of ships, or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response would be exempted. Ships which meet certain construction standards with regard to oil fuel tank protection would need to comply on and after 1 July 2029. 

 A Party to MARPOL with a coastline bordering Arctic waters may temporarily waive the requirements for ships flying its flag while operating in waters subject to that Party's sovereignty or jurisdiction, up to 1 July 2029. 

The draft amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see 

Draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements 

The MEPC will consider with a view to adoption, draft amendments to draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements.  

 The draft amendment specifies that the Administration may exempt a UNSP barge from the annual survey and certification requirements, for a period not exceeding 5 years provided that the UNSP barge has undergone a survey to confirm that certain conditions are met.  

 The amendments also provide the form for the International Oil Pollution Exemption Certificate for Unmanned Non-self-propelled Barges. The MEPC is also expected to approve a related circular on guidelines for exemption of UNSP barges.  

 The draft amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see 

 Draft amendments to AFS Convention - cybutrene

The MEPC is expected to consider, with a view to adoption, draft amendments to the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne.  

 The AFS Convention already prohibits the use of biocides using organotin compounds. 

 The draft amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see 

Other matters 

The MEPC is expected to consider other items , including 

 Air pollution and energy efficiency 

  • draft amendments to the Guidance for best practice for member state/coastal state including the indicative example of licence for bunkering;  

  • a draft MEPC circular on proxy of offshore and marine contracting vessels and cruise passenger ships;  

  • draft Work Plan to progress the work on the Shaft/Engine Power Limitation concept; 

  • amendments to the Guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions; and  

  • draft amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships.  

 Work of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR)


  • two draft MEPC circulars relating to marine plastic litter (prepared by PPR 7), specifically on Provision of adequate facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of plastic waste from ships, and on sharing of results from research on marine litter and encouraging studies to better understand microplastics from ships;  

  • the proposed revised title and scope of work for the output on Evaluation and harmonization of rules and guidance on the discharge of discharge water from EGCS into the aquatic environment, including conditions and areas, as developed by PPR 7;  

  • a draft MEPC circular on Unified interpretations to the NOX Technical Code 2008; 

  • the decisions of PPR 8 in respect of evaluation of chemicals in bulk (i.e. carriage requirements for chemicals to be listed in the annual MEPC.2 circular on Provisional categorization of liquid substances in accordance with MARPOL Annex II and the IBC Code); and 

  • the draft terms of reference for further work on reduction of the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping, as agreed by PPR 8. 

Underwater noise – proposal for further work 

The Committee is expected to consider a proposal (document MEPC 75/14) for a new output on review of the 2014 Guidelines for the reduction of underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life (MEPC.1/Circ.833) and identification of next steps 

Timetable and agenda 

See Agenda MEPC 76/1/1 which includes the proposed timetable.  

Further information