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IMO’s Environment Committee Considers Energy Efficiency, Ballast Water Management and Ship Recycling

IMO9 October 2012: The 64th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) addressed issues related to energy efficiency, ballast water management and ship-recycling. The session also led to the establishment of a new Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in the Saba Bank, in the north-eastern Caribbean area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

On energy efficiency measures for ships, the MEPC focused on technical and operational measures following the adoption of chapter 4 of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI (requirements mandating the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan for all ships). The Committee: approved guidance and interpretations relating to energy efficiency; adopted amendments to the 2012 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained EEDI for new ships; and established an intersessional Correspondence Group on Energy-Efficiency Measures for Ships. The MEPC did not reach agreement on a resolution on Promotion of Technical Cooperation and Transfer of Technology, and the text from the 64th session will be used as a draft resolution with a view to adoption at MEPC 65.

On ballast water management, the Committee granted approval to five basic and three final ballast water management systems that make use of Active Substances, and considered the reports of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) Ballast Water Working Group. The Committee urged States to ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) and approved a circular on the issuance of Ballast Water Management Certificates before the BWM's entry into force.

On recycling of ships, the MEPC encouraged member governments to ratify the Hong Kong Convention (on safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships) and adopted two sets of 2012 Guidelines on inspection and survey and certification. An intersessional correspondence group was established to consider materials listed in the Inventories of Hazardous Materials and possible amendments to the 2011 Guidelines for the Development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials.

The 64th session took place in London, UK, from 1-5 October 2012. At its 65th session, the Committee will resume discussions on, inter alia, the resolution on Promotion of Technology Transfer of Technology and the methodology and criteria for a comprehensive impact assessment of market-based measures on developing country impacts. [IMO Press Release, 9 October 2012] [IMO Press Release, 27 September 2012]