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IMO MEPC Adopts Energy Efficiency Guidelines

IMO2 March 2012: The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a series of guidelines to support the uniform implementation of mandatory measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from international shipping.

The guidelines were adopted at the 63rd session of the IMO MEPC, which convened from 27 February - 2 March 2012, in London, UK, to support implementation of the mandatory Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships contained in Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013. The four sets of guidelines are: 2012 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships; 2012 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP); 2012 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI); and Guidelines for calculation of reference lines for use with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

In addition, the MEPC continued its discussion on market-based measures (MBMs), which featured prominently on the 63rd session's agenda. The Committee considered a range of MBM proposals, including: a contribution or levy on all carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping or only from those ships not meeting the EEDI requirement; emission trading systems; and schemes based on a ship's actual efficiency by design (EEDI) and operation (SEEMP). The Committee considered an impact assessment of MBM proposals, but did not reach agreement on a draft terms of reference. Discussions will continue on this matter at the MEPC's next session, scheduled to take place from 1-5 October 2012. The Committee also decided to discuss the draft MEPC resolution on the Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships at its next session.

The MEPC adopted amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, IV, V and VI aimed at enabling small island developing States (SIDS) to comply with requirements for port States to provide reception facilities for ship waste through regional arrangements.

In addition, the MEPC adopted: amendments to the NOx Technical Code; a resolution on sewage treatment equipment; the 2012 Guidelines for the Implementation of MARPOL Annex V and 2012 Guidelines for the Development of Garbage Management Plans; guidelines for the recycling of ships; ballast water management systems; draft amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code); and oil pollution response manuals. The Committee reviewed progress made towards the development of the Code for ships operating in polar water (Polar Code). [IMO Press Release, 5 March 2012] [IMO Press Release, 7 February 2012]