MEPC 74: IMO completes 2020 guidelines

The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) concluded on Friday with a comprehensive set of guidelines for the consistent implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap.

IMO also approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI relating to enforcement of the 0.50% sulphur limit, with a view to adoption at MEPC 75, under regulations 1, 2, 14 and 18, appendix I and appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI, according to IBIA.

MEPC 74 approved the following guidelines, guidance documents and MEPC Circulars that are pertinent to the successful implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit:

  • 2019 Guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI: These guidelines are for administrations, port states, ship owners, shipbuilders and fuel oil providers to ensure implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit.
  • 2019 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI: It is aimed to provide guidance to PSC officers on verifying compliance with requirements of MARPOL Annex VI.
  • Guidance for port State control on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel oil: It refers to PSC guidance on how to deal with non-compliant fuel.
  • MEPC Circular on the 2019 Guidelines for onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships
  • MEPC circular on Early application of the approved amendments to the verification procedures for a MARPOL Annex VI fuel oil sample
  • MEPC circular on Guidance on indication of ongoing compliance in the case of the failure of a single monitoring instrument, and recommended actions to take if the EGCS fails to meet the provision of the Guidelines
  • MSC-MEPC circular on Delivery of compliant fuel oil by suppliers, subject to approval by MSC 101 in June: It urges member states to take action to ensure that fuel oil suppliers deliver compliant fuel meeting all respective requirements.

The consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit was key on the agenda during IMO’s Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) in February 2019.

IBIA is pleased that these guidelines are now ready, giving more clarity to all stakeholders. We fought for acceptable and common sense outcomes, and while we would have wished for some things to have gone differently, workable compromises were found in most cases,

…IBIA stated.

The ICS also welcomed the additional guidance to assist smooth implementation of the global sulphur cap on 1 January 2020.

ICS will be using these latest IMO guidelines to update its well-received ‘Guidance on Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap’ which is available to all ship operators via the ICS website free of charge.