Next week the IMarEST will be utilising its consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to submit several papers for consideration by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) during its 74th session.
The committee will meet between 13-17 May 2019, at IMO Headquarters in London and will be chaired by Mr Hideaki Sato (Japan). The committee is expected to discuss an extensive agenda including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, the implementation of the sulphur 2020 limit and Ballast Water Management Convention and devising an action plan for marine plastic litter. Several working group/drafting groups are expected to be established from these discussions.
The full agenda and further information on the expected working/drafting groups can be found on the IMO website.
A total of five papers have been submitted, or co-sponsored, by the IMarEST on behalf of its membership to MEPC74, relating to ballast water, emissions from shipping and biofouling.
Ballast Water Management
The first of IMarEST’s submissions presents the practicality and safety concerns that are related to practising ballast water exchange plus treatment (BWE+BWT). In some regions worldwide, this practice is required by regulations that seek to achieve more reliable and increased biological effectiveness, while other areas require the practice as a contingency measure. The document will expand on the safety considerations previously raised by the IMarEST at MEPC73 and will identify jurisdictions that require this practice and the expected benefits alongside an outline of the practicality and safety of the practice.
This is accompanied by a summary document of the currently available indicative analysis instruments – devices that could be used to test for compliance for the ballast water performance standard. There is currently a lack of widespread familiarity about indicative analysis and the available technology. As such, the IMarEST has prepared a document as a resource to summarise relevant technical aspects and considerations of currently available indicative analysis instruments for ballast water testing and is intended as an informational resource for relevant and interested stakeholders.
Emissions from Shipping
The second set of IMarEST submissions are two documents containing comments relating to MARPOL Annex VI. The first provides comment on an amendment to regulation 14 of Annex VI, that was agreed at the 6th meeting of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR6) that extended the usage of the verification procedures given in appendix VI of that Annex to also cover in-use and onboard fuel oil samples. At the time, concern was expressed that there was no existing guideline covering the drawing of an onboard sample. The IMarEST has, in this paper, presented a concrete proposal as to the text for an onboard sampling guideline.
The subsequent submission comments on the draft 2019 guidelines for port State control (PSC) following PPR6 developing a revised version of the existing 2009 PSC guidelines in respect of the application of MARPOL Annex VI. Given time restraints, the PPR 6 revision only covered elements that were related to regulation 14 or equivalent means. Since, 2009 there have been a number of amendments to Annex VI, particularly in relation to NOx requirements under regulation 13 and the various requirements stemming from the energy efficiency certification and fuel oil consumption data reporting requirements under the subsequently adopted chapter 4 to the Annex. To assist the Marine Environmental Protection Committee in completing this update of the PSC guidelines, the IMarEST has submitted proposals for additional and/or amended text relevant to the NOx related aspects with a proposed layout for the guidelines.
The final submission will fall under any other business and provide an update on informal discussions and information sharing on biofouling. The IMarEST has co-sponsored the submission led by Australia, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. This includes a summary of a meeting of a group of interested parties held in the margins of MEPC73 with 80 representatives from member States and observers that was chaired by Australia and New Zealand. The document lists the current research focus areas relating to the effects of biofouling, industry-specific management issues and best practice in information sharing.
New IMO document policy
MEPC74 will be the first Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting for which many documents are made publically available in advance of the meeting. The documents can be accessed via IMODOCS, by registering for an account free of charge.
The change in IMO policy comes from a discussion at the 130th IMO Council meeting in July 2018, that decided to “remove any restriction explicit or implied on sponsors of documents so that those who wish to release their documents to the public via IMODOCS prior to a meeting can do so.”
Taken from the meeting summary on the IMO website, the above wording is important as it not stating that documents will be available or that they should be available; but simply stating that it is now possible for sponsors to make them available if they wish to do so. This means that, when submitted a document to an IMO meeting, the process includes a ‘yes/no’ box to indicate whether they wish to make it publicly available.
The IMarEST will make all its submissions publicly available.
The submissions can be found in the ‘Meeting Documents’ tab and clicking through to the relevant committee meeting.
The submissions are open access and must be cited in the following format:
Submission Name. Submitted By. Committee Session/Document Number
Summary of currently available ballast water indicative analysis instruments. Submitted by IMarEST. MEPC 74/INF.18
For further information, you can watch the IMODOCS: Training video on the IMO website.