The last Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting before 2020 agreed a set of guidelines to help vessels and authorities with implementation of the new emissions rules. Regulators also agreed to changes on the actual regulation, relating to fuel testing
THE International Maritime Organization has made the latest enhancements to the global 0.5% sulphur cap before 2020, as policymakers meeting in London last week agreed to a new set of guidelines and even changes to the regulations on bunker fuel testing.
After months of deliberations and multiple meetings, delegates at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee finalised sulphur cap implementation guidelines for both vessels and port state control authorities.
Countries also agreed to begin work to strengthen the IMO’s database with more information regarding the availability and safety of compliant fuels.
Aside from the guidelines, one of the key elements on the agenda last week was a change to the actual regulation and specifically the bunker samples, known as Marpol samples, that the vessel is meant to store on board in case authorities want to use them to verify their compliance with the 0.5% sulphur cap.
Following a proposal by the International Bunkering Industry Association and oil and gas industry lobby IPIECA, delegates reached a compromise agreement to change the planned text on the verification process for a Marpol sample.
Ultimately MEPC 74 agreed on a text that allows for flexibility in both the treatment of test results by port state control authorities and the ability of the fuel supplier to contest them.
“The final results obtained from this verification procedure shall be evaluated by the competent authority,” the agreed text reads.
MEPC 75, which meets in the spring of 2020, will adopt the guidelines and the regulatory amendments, making them official.