Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 69th session – Media information


Basic information

Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 69th session
Chairman: Mr. Arsenio Dominguez (Panama)

When and where?
18-22 April 2016, at IMO Headquarters in London.

All 171 IMO Member States and three Associate Members may attend as well as all Parties to MARPOL. Intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations are also invited.

Accredited media may attend plenary sessions but working group sessions are closed.

Accreditation and media access

-  Any media attending the Committee will be required to show a valid form of ID.
-  Plenary sessions are open to accredited media.  

Media wishing to attend plenary sessions but who do not have current and valid IMO media accreditation must download and complete the media accreditation form and return it to with a letter of assignment.

Already accredited?
If already accredited (and in possession of an IMO media pass) please email if you wish to attend. Your existing pass will be activated.
Agenda and timetable
Please email for provisional agenda and timetable.

Morning, 09.30-12.30 (break: 11:00-11:30); afternoon, 14.30-17:30 (break 16:00-16:30)
Amendments are excepted to be adopted on Friday.  

Final report and working group reports are expected to be approved on Friday.

Highlights of particular interest to media

Adoption of amendments to MARPOL
The MEPC is expected to consider with a view to adoption:

• draft amendments to the NOX Technical Code 2008 to facilitate the testing of gas-fuelled engines and dual fuel engines for NOx Tier III strategy;
• draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI regarding record requirements for operational compliance with NOX Tier III emission control areas.
Implementation of the BWM Convention
The MEPC will review the status of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), 2004, which is very close to reaching its entry into force criteria. The Convention aims to prevent the global spread of invasive aquatic species through ships’ ballast water and sediments.

On the agenda for the session is the continued review of the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems (G8), taking into account the outcome of a study on the implementation of the D-2 ballast water performance standard. Also up for discussion are  draft amendments to regulation B-3 of the Convention relating to the time scale for implementation of the requirements and will consider proposals relating to exceptions and exemptions under the Convention. 

Further ballast water management systems that make use of active substances will be put forward for Final Approval (three systems), following consideration of the report of the 32nd meeting of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group. 

Energy efficiency of international shipping
The MEPC is expected to continue to build on the solid work the Organization has undertaken to address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. To date, IMO is the only Organization to have adopted energy-efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry. Energy-efficiency design standards for new ships and associated operational energy-efficiency measures for existing ships became mandatory in 2013, with the entry into force of relevant amendments to MARPOL Annex VI.

Data received by the IMO Secretariat identifies that so far nearly 1,200 ships have been certified as complying with the new energy efficiency design standards.

In this regard, the Committee will also consider an interim report of its correspondence group reviewing the status of technological developments relevant to implementing Phase 2 of the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) regulations. 

The energy-efficiency regulations require IMO to review the status of technological developments and, if proven necessary, amend the time periods, the EEDI reference line parameters for relevant ship types and reduction rates.

Data collection system to analyse the energy efficiency of ships
The report of an intersessional working group on further technical and operational measures for enhancing energy efficiency will be considered.The report proposes a data collection system for ships’ fuel consumption and makes recommendations for operational considerations.

Proposed draft amendments to chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to incorporate the data collection system will be considered.

Reduction of GHG emissions from ships
Following the adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and building on the discussions at its previous session, the MEPC will further consider a proposal for a work plan to define international shipping’s contribution to the global efforts to address climate change.

Fuel oil quality
The report of a correspondence group established to consider possible quality-control measures prior to fuel oil being delivered to a ship has been submitted to the MEPC, which will discuss the development of draft guidance for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered for use on board ships.

Designation of Philippines Tubbataha Reefs as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area
The MEPC will consider a proposal from the Philippines to designate the marine area known as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, located between the islands of the Philippines and North Borneo, as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), in order to provide special protection form international shipping. This ecologically important sea area, located in the Sulu Sea between the islands of the Philippines and North Borneo, is already on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Establishment of effective dates for the Baltic Sea Special Area
The MEPC will consider establishing an effective date for the application of the Baltic Sea Special Area under MARPOL Annex IV (Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships).

 “Port reception facilities – How to do it”
An updated version of the manual “Port reception facilities – How to do it” is expected to be approved.