IMO Environment Committee Considers MARPOL Amendments, Energy Efficiency

IMO7 April 2014: The 66th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships (MARPOL Convention) and discussed the implementation of energy-efficiency regulations.

As part of its amendments to the MARPOL Convention, the MEPC agreed to make the IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory through definitions and regulations relating to the "verification of compliance." The Audit Scheme amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2016. The MEPC also agreed to set a date for the implementation of 'Tier III' standards on Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) within emission control areas. The amendments allow for the NOx standard to be applied to a marine diesel engine on ships constructed after 1 January 2015 and operating within certain areas. The Tier III standards are expected to enter into force on 1 September 2015. 

The MEPC also continued its work on developing guidelines to support the uniform implementation of regulations on energy efficiency for ships that entered into force on 1 January 2013. It further discussed the implementation of its resolution on Promotion of Technical Co-operation and Transfer of Technology Relating to the Improvement of Energy Efficiency of Ships, welcoming the financial contribution from Norway for the organization of workshops on the transfer of technology.

The 66th session of the MEPC took place at IMO headquarters in London, UK, from 31 March to 4 April 2014. The 67th session of the MEPC will take place from 13-17 October 2014 at the same venue. [IMO Press Release, 7 April 2014] [IMO Press Release, 8 March 2014]