BIMCO paves the way to IMO strategy on greenhouse gasses


BIMCO contributes actively in the development of IMO's strategy to limit the average global temperature rise below 2°C.

BIMCO’s Maritime Technology and Regulation department will attend the 71st session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70), which will be held from 3 to 7 July 2017 in London.

The agenda for MEPC 71 is comprehensive and the following central items should be highlighted:

Amendments to mandatory instruments

At this session, MEPC will be asked to adopt the following amendments to MARPOL:

  • MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 13 related to the designation of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea Emission Control Areas for NOx Tier III control
  • MARPOL Annex VI, amendments to the Bunker Delivery Note (BDN) to allow delivery of non-compliant fuel to a ship, which has exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubber) onboard.

If adopted by MEPC 70, the amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2019.

The NOX tier III amendments will come into effect on ships which are constructed on or after 1 January 2021 and are operating in the two areas.

BIMCO sponsored papers

BIMCO has co-sponsored 5 submissions:

  • MEPC 71/7/4 – A proposal to consider when developing the IMO Green House Gas (GHG) strategy

    At MEPC 70, it was agreed to develop a comprehensive GHG strategy and to agree on an initial strategy in 2018.

To support the development of the IMO's GHG strategy, the co-sponsors (BIMCO, IPTA and WSC) propose:

1) a set of ambitious objectives to be included in the GHG strategy

2) establishment of a maritime research and development programme to develop new technologies to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the sector (both in the long term and in the near term)

3) an investment programme designed to stimulate energy efficiency improvements across the existing fleet.


  • MEPC 71/7/5 and INF.34 (full report) – Update of maritime greenhouse gas emissions projections
    The BIMCO papers present an update of the maritime GHG emission projections contained in the Third IMO GHG Study, 2014.

    Since the publication of the 2014 Study, new data have become available and transport work has grown at a slower pace than originally predicted.
  • MEPC 71/7/12 - Elements for inclusion in the IMO Strategy
    BIMCO together with ICS, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO, have issued proposals for inclusion in the IMO strategy for CO2 reduction. The initial strategy, which is to be adopted in 2018, are to be amended including some ambitious "Aspirational Objectives". The objectives agreed should be non-binding in character and must not imply any kind of commitment or intention to place a binding cap on the sector's total CO2 emissions, nor on the CO2 emissions of individual ships.

    The aspirational objectives are:
  • to maintain international shipping's annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels and
  • to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne-km by at least 50%, as an average across international shipping by 2050, compared to 2008.

    It is expected that the matter will be discussed thoroughly during the meeting.

  • MEPC 71/16/2 – Spill response contracts
    The paper informs about the "Spill Response Contracts", which have been newly developed by BIMCO, the International Salvage Union (ISU), the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs), the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd (ITOPF) and the International Spill Control Organization (ISCO).

    The templates of the contracts will in future enable parties to rapidly establish an agreement to facilitate the mobilization of spill response services as and when needed.

Other important items on the agenda

Ballast water management (BWM)
MEPC 71 will discuss and possibly approve the draft amendments to regulation B-3 of the BWM Convention in order to be ready before the convention enters into force on 8 September 2017. The main subjects are:

  • deadline for installation of ballast water treatment system for existing ships, linked with the International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Certificate renewal after entry into force
  • installation for new ships, whether it shall be linked to the construction keel lay on or after entry into force or given a two-year period of grace
  • consequential amendments to the Guidelines (G8) and regulation D-3 of the BWM Convention to make the revised Guidelines (G8) mandatory as "Code for approval of ballast water management systems"
  • what to do for small ships without an IOPP certificate.

MEPC will also consider guidance on the application of the BWM to ships operating solely in sea areas where ballast water exchange is not possible (according to BWM, regulation B-4.1). MEPC will also consider amendments to the guidelines for risk assessments performed by port state under regulation A-4 (G7) to better clarify the relationship between the guidelines and the same risk area concept.

Another issue to be discussed is the guidance on the BWM convention’s measures related to contingency planning for ballast water management in ports, ballast water exchange using water treated by various BWM systems, as well as contingency measures related to reception facilities.

Alternative approval of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI)

MEPC 71 will consider a proposal to develop guidelines on how to use the equivalent method in regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to comply with the EEDI requirements.

The draft guidelines will be on how to use regulation 4 for an equivalent approval of the energy efficiency requirement. Today, an administration can approve a ship's energy efficiency in accordance with the equivalent method based on the ship's total energy efficiency. This shall be done by documenting that the actual, modern, new-built ship is at least as effective in terms of emission reductions – energy efficient – as a ship fulfilling the EEDI requirement. This could, for example, be done by showing that an actual phase 2 ship has a 20% less CO2 emission than a similar ship fulfilling the phase 0 standard.

Review of the existing Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulations

MEPC 71 will further consider the review of the EEDI. According to MARPOL Annex VI, Reg 21.6, IMO shall review the status of technological developments at the beginning of phase 1 and at the midpoint of phase 2. The latter will start in 2023. If proven necessary, the parameters for relevant ship types and reduction rates set out in this regulation should be reviewed.

A number of issues will be considered under this heading:

  • implementation of EEDI for ice class ships – in general, review of the correction factor for ships operating in the Arctic waters
  • reduction factors for existing ships having undergone a major conversion
  • possible strengthening of the EEDI framework for phase 2 and phase 3 (enter into force in 2020 and 2025 respectively) for certain ship types, and
  • revised measures to the reference baseline for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships

IMO data collection system

MEPC 71 will discuss the correspondence group’s draft text for administration of data verification procedures. MEPC will also further develop draft guidance for the management of the new database related to the IMO ship fuel oil consumption. This work also covers proposals for new MEPC circular(s) to address and clarify how to deal with ships, which are not party to MARPOL Annex VI.

 A brief report on the outcome of the meeting will be published shortly after the meeting.

Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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