IMO Environment Committee approves MARPOL amendments

IMO Environment Committee approves MARPOL amendments


The new amendments to the MARPOL convention would require the carbon intensity of existing ships to be reduced

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has approved new draft regulations to The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which would require the carbon intensity of existing ships to be cut.

The draft amendments would require ships and their owners to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. A new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) will need to be calculated for ships of 400gt or above, with each vessel being required to meet a specific EEXI.

Ships above 5,000gt will also need their required annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) to be calculated, which will determine the annual reduction needed to ensure that there is continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level. The rating would be given on a scale of A to E, with the performance level recorded in the ship’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan. A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan to show how the required index would be achieved. Port authorities and administrations are being encouraged by the IMO to provide incentives for those ships rated A or B.

The draft amendments will now be put forward for formal adoption at the MEPC 76 session, scheduled to be held during 2021. The MARPOL convention requires amendments to be circulated for a minimum of six months before adoption, then allows them to enter force a minimum of 16 months following adoption.

“Considerable further work on the implementation of the measures is still ahead of us,” said Kitack Lim, secretary general of IMO. “But I am confident that the IMO spirit of cooperation, shown during the past years, will enable swift progress with the development of technical guidelines and a Carbon Intensity Code as well as the essential further work on the comprehensive assessment of impacts of the measures on developing countries, small island developing states and least developed countries. I express my gratitude to all Member States that have indicated a commitment to supporting these efforts.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
19 November 2020

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