IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee Approves Polar Code Provisions
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The 67th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved provisions of the draft International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), and adopted draft amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The meeting also adopted resolutions supporting the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention), and considered a greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions study, energy efficiency in ships, and issues relating to fuel consumption and quality.

IMO20 October 2014: The 67th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved provisions of the draft International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), and adopted draft amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The meeting also adopted resolutions supporting the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention), and considered a greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions study, energy efficiency in ships, and issues relating to fuel consumption and quality.

On the Polar Code, the MEPC approved the preamble, introduction and part II, including mandatory provisions relating to the prevention or control of pollution by: oil; noxious liquid substances in bulk; sewage from ships; and garbage from ships. In order to bring corresponding sections in the Polar Code into force under Annexes of the MARPOL, the Committee also approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes on: prevention of pollution by oil from ships; noxious liquid substances; sewage; and garbage. The Code and draft amendments will be considered for adoption by the 68th MEPC session.

The MEPC also adopted resolutions and measures to assist the entry into force and implementation of the BWM Convention, including on the testing system for approval of ballast water management systems, and guidelines for port state control inspection for compliance with the Convention.

Furthermore, the Committee approved the ‘Third IMO GHG Study 2014,’ which estimates that in 2012, international shipping emitted 796 million tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2), representing 2.2% of global CO2 emissions that year, and an 89 MtCO2 decline from 2007 levels. Under a business-as-usual scenario, however, the study projects emissions from shipping to increase between 50-250% by 2050.

On energy efficiency in ships, the MEPC adopted the ‘2014 Guidelines on Survey and Certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI),’ and amendments to the ‘2013 Interim Guidelines for Determining Minimum Propulsion Power to Maintain the Manoeuvrability of Ships in Adverse Conditions.’

The meeting was held from 13-17 October at IMO headquarters in London, UK. The 68th session of the MEPC will take place in May 2015. [IMO 67th MEPC Meeting Summary] [IMO Press Release on the Polar Code] [IMO Press Release on the BWM Convention] [IISD RS stories on IMO MEPC]


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