The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) concluded with the adoption of a series of decisions which will advance the shipping sector efforts to reduce its emissions.
The IMO strengthened energy efficiency targets for certain types of ships. These more ambitious goals apply to containers, general cargo ships, hybrid diesel-electric cruise ships, and LPG and LNG carriers that cover about 40% of CO2 emitted from ships subject to energy efficiency regulations.
Following these new measures, new container ships will now be required to be up to 50% more efficient by 2022, compared with the previous target of up to 30% more efficient by 2025. General cargo ships, LPG and LNG carriers and hybrid diesel-electric cruise ships, will also have to be up to 30% more efficient by 2022.
MEPC also adopted a set of guidelines that will assist national and port authorities and shipowners to adapt to the forthcoming implementation of the 0,50% sulfur limit fo the fuel oil used on board (1st of January 2020) and the carriage ban of non-compliant fuel (1st of March 2020). These are the following:
- 2019 Guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulfur limit under MARPOL Annex VI: These are for administrations, port states, ship owners, shipbuilders and fuel oil providers to ensure implementation of the 0.50% sulfur limit.
- 2019 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI: It is aimed to provide guidance to Port State Control 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.
The Committee approved as well the Terms of Reference for the IMO Study on Marine Plastic Litter from Ships, that among other issues, will assess the availability of port reception facilities and recycling technologies available to ships.
Finally, the Committee continued to develop its methods of work to implement the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, adopted at MEPC 72, and approved the Terms of Reference which will govern the 4th IMO GHG Study.