Consistent implementation of 2020 sulphur limit – draft guidelines finalized
The 0.50 percent limit for sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil will take effect on 1 January 2020 and will have a significant beneficial impact on human health and the environment.
The Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) agreed draft Guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI, together with other relevant guidelines, forming a comprehensive package of new and updated instruments that will assist industry and Administrations to effectively and uniformly implement the 0.50% sulphur limit.
IMO has already issued ship implementation planning guidance, to help shipowners prepare.
Review of the 2015 Guidelines on Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems
The Sub-Committee is undertaking a review of the 2015 Guidelines on Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS). The Sub-Committee noted the progress made by the Correspondence Group on review of the 2015 EGCS Guidelines. It agreed to request an extension of the target completion year to 2020 with a view to continuing the work on the review at PPR 7.
In the meantime, the Sub-Committee agreed to forward a new draft Appendix 6 to the EGCS guidelines, developed by the correspondence group, to MEPC 74 (13-17 May) for review and finalization, with a view to potentially issuing it as an MEPC circular. The proposed draft Appendix 6 provides Guidance on temporary indication of ongoing compliance in the case of the failure of a single monitoring instrument, and recommended actions to take if the EGCS fails to meet the requirements of the Guidelines. It aims to address situations in which there is a malfunction of the EGCS system.
The Sub-Committee reviewed a submission from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), an advisory body that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. GESAMP provided comments received from four GESAMP members.
The Sub-Committee also heard from Member States who had carried out studies and preliminary studies related to washwater discharge (under the current washwater discharge standards set out in the 2015 guidelines) and the impact on the marine environment.
The Sub-Committee encouraged interested Member States and international organizations to undertake further scientific research and to submit results to future sessions to facilitate the work on the revision of the 2015 EGCS Guidelines.
The Sub-Committee requested the IMO Secretariat to explore the possibility of GESAMP carrying out a review of the relevant scientific literature and also overseeing a modelling study of the impacts of discharge washwater from exhaust gas cleaning systems. The Sub-Committee also invited Member States and organizations in consultative status to submit further scientific studies and information.
Emissions of Black Carbon
The Sub-Committee identified a number of potential control measures to reduce the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping.
- draft amendment to Annex 1 to the Anti Fouling Systems Convention to include controls on cybutryne;
- draft methodology for analyzing impacts of a ban on heavy fuel oil for the use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters;
- draft Guide on practical methods for the implementation of the OPRC Convention and OPRC-HNS Protocol; and
- draft revised MEPC circular on the Guidelines for the provisional assessment of liquid substances transported in bulk.
Sea News Feature, February 26