Class and Statutory News


May. 17 2015


Bureau Veritas Report on MEPC 68


The Committee on Marine Environment Protection held its sixty height session from 11 May to 15 May 2015, which took place in IMO headquarters in London. This report provides an overview on main points and results of the agenda items discussed.

Agenda items of MEPC 68

1 Adoption of the agenda

2 Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water

3 Air pollution and energy efficiency   

4 Further technical and operational measures for enhancing energy efficiency of international shipping 

5 Reduction of GHG emissions from ships 

6 Consideration and adoption of amendments to mandatory instruments  

7 Amendments to MARPOL Annex V, Form of Garbage Record Book 

8 Review of nitrogen and phosphorous removal standards in the 2012 Guidelines on the implementation of effluent standards and performance tests for sewage treatment plants 

9  Use of electronic record books 

10 Identification and protection of Special Areas and PSSAs 

11 Inadequacy of reception facilities 

12 Reports of sub-committees 

13 Work of other bodies 

14 Promotion of implementation and enforcement of MARPOL and related instruments 

15 Technical cooperation activities for the protection of the marine environment 

16 Capacity building for the implementation of new measures 

17 Work programme of the Committee and subsidiary bodies 

18 Application of the Committees' Guidelines 

19 Election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman for 2015 

20 Any other business 

20 Consideration of the report of the Committee


Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water (Agenda Item 2)

- Georgia and Turkey ratified the convention resulting in a number of ratifying countries of 44 (required 30) and percentage of world merchant shipping tonnage to 32.86% (required is 35%). The BWM Convention will enter into force 12 months after the ratification.

- The total number of reported BWM type-approved systems is 57.

- The Committee did:

. endorse the revised Methodology for information gathering and conduct of work of the GESAMP-BWWG and approve its dissemination as a BWM circular to supersede the existing BWM.2/Circ.13/Rev.2 of April 2014 and agree that the revised Methodology should be applied to all submissions for Basic Approval to MEPC 71 and onwards, and subsequent submissions for Final Approval of those systems;  

. endorse the conclusion of the Sixth Stocktaking Workshop of the GESAMP-BWWG that the value of the maximum allowable discharge concentration of total residual oxidants of 0.2 mg/L as Cl2 should be changed to 0.1 mg/L as Cl2, to be applied for proposals for Basic Approval of BWMS submitted to MEPC 69 and onwards and subsequent proposals for Final Approval of those systems;

. recommend that the information on TRO monitoring provided by applicants for proposals of approval of BWMS making use of Active Substances should include the installation and control scheme (engineering aspects) and the physical/chemical factors (including salinity and water temperature) that affect the accurate reading of TRO in automated in-line monitoring; 

. invite the Study on the implementation of regulation D-2 to consider the matter on whether or not operational training manuals for ships' crew should be a standardised template and part of the type approval procedure; 

. re-establish the correspondence group on the review of Guidelines (G8) and request Member States and observers to provide information on the following issues to the correspondence group:

 .1 the effect of temperature in cold and tropical waters on operational effectiveness and environmental acceptability of ballast water management systems (paragraph 17 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.2 standard test organisms used in testing of ballast water management systems (paragraphs 19 and 21 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.3 validated methods for testing of ballast water management systems (paragraph 30 to 33 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.4 differences between type approval protocols in Member States (paragraphs 58 and 59 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.5 incorporation of control and monitoring equipment in BWMS, taking into consideration issues raised in document PPR 2/5 (paragraphs 86 and 87 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.6 what documentation related to scaling of ballast water management systems should be required in type approval test reports and how to determine validation of computer modelling, model assumptions, etc. (paragraph 91 of MEPC 68/2/12 and BWM.2/Circ.33); 

.7 verification of minimum storage times for ballast water during testing (paragraphs 92 to 95 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.8 the use of control samples or control water retained in holding tanks during shipboard testing, which may lead to issues with regard to biological quality and temperature differences compared to normal double bottom ballast tanks and on possible alternatives for testing under extreme conditions, e.g. in field trials (paragraphs 68 and 96 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.9 how to develop a common approach with regard for achieving the thresholds for biological and physical constituants recommended in Guidelines (G8), e.g. concentration of organisms, total suspended solids, etc. (paragraphs 101 and 102 of MEPC 68/2/12); 

.10 proposed definition of "viability" of organisms, taking into account the damage caused to organisms by ballast water management systems making use of UV (paragraphs 34 and 116 of MEPC 68/2/12); and 

.11 any other issues deemed relevant. 

 . agree with a Roadmap for the implementation of the BWM Convention and develop measures to facilitate the implementation of the Convention (non-penalisation of early movers); 

. invite submissions to MEPC 69 on any outstanding issues identified in the Roadmap for the implementation of the BWM Convention for further consideration by the Committee, with a view to finalizing any further guidance by MEPC 70; 

. note the draft amendments to regulation B-3 of the BWM Convention (to be adopted when the Convention is in force), in line with Resolution A.1088 (28);  

. concur with the understanding that the intentions of resolution A.1088(28) apply also for ships operating in sea areas where ballast water exchange in accordance with regulations B-4.1 and D-1 of the BWM Convention is not possible; 

Refer to MEPC68/WP.8 for additional information

Air pollution and Energy Efficiency (Agenda Item 3) 

- Amendments to the 2009 Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems 

The Committee adopted the MEPC resolution on Amendments to the 2009 Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (resolution MEPC.184(59)).

- Black Carbon

The Committee agreed with the Bond et al. definition as the definition of Black Carbon for international shipping, for the primary reason that this definition is measurement method neutral, and further is widely supported by the scientific community. 

- Energy-efficiency

MEPC received the Progress report of the Correspondence Group on EEDI review required under regulation 21.6 of MARPOL Annex VI which requires that, at the beginning of phase 1 (1 January 2015) and at the midpoint of phase 2 (1 July 2022) of the required EEDI reductions, the Organization shall review the status of technological developments to implement the energy efficiency design index and, if proven necessary, amend the time periods, the EEDI reference line parameters for relevant ship types and the reduction rates set out in regulation 21.   (interim report expected at MEPC 69).

- Working Group on Air pollution and energy efficiency

The Committee did: 

. approve draft amendments to the NOX Technical Code 2008 regarding testing of gas-fuelled engine and dual fuel engines for NOX Tier III strategy, with a view to adoption at MEPC 69; 

. approve an MEPC circular on Guidance on the application of regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI Tier III requirements to dual fuel and gas-fuelled engines; 

. approve the terms of reference for the fuel oil availability review including the terms reference of the Steering Committee of the review;

. request the Secretariat to initiate the fuel oil availability review in accordance with the agreed terms of reference, including establishment of the Steering Committee, so that the review could begin by 1 September 2015, with a view to the final report of the fuel oil availability review being submitted to MEPC 70; 

. adopt the amendments to the 2014 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) (resolution MEPC.254(67)); 

. endorse the use of ISO 15016:2015 for ships for which the sea trial is conducted on or after 1 September 2015;  

- adopt the amendments to the 2013 Interim Guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions, as amended;

- agree that after adoption it would be necessary to have a phase-in period of six months for the application of the amendments to the 2013 Interim Guidelines for determining minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions, as amended; 

- adopt the amendments to 2014 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships (resolution MEPC.245(66)). 

Refer to MEPC68/WP.9 for additional information

Further technical and operational measures for enhancing energy efficiency of international shipping (Agenda Item 4)  

Data collection system for fuel consumption of ships 

The Committee agreed on the text as set out in the annex to WP.10 for its further development as the full language for the data collection system for fuel consumption of ships that can be readily used for voluntary/mandatory application of the system and agreed to establish an inter-sessional working group on further technical and operational measures for enhancing energy efficiency of international shipping (the week before CCC 2).

Refer to MEPC68/WP.10 for additional information

Reduction of GHG emissions from ships (agenda item 5)

Further to the presentation of MEPC 68/5/1 (Marshall Islands), the committee debated at length on the subject. 

Adoption of amendments to mandatory instruments (Agenda Item 6)

The Committee:

- adopted the Introduction and parts II-A and II-B of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code),

adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I,II, IV and V to make use of environment-related provisions of the Polar Code mandatory,

- adopted the draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I, regulation 12, revising the provisions related to tanks for oil residues, 

- approved the draft MEPC circular on Guidance for issuing revised certificates, manuals and record books under Annexes I, II and V of MARPOL for compliance with environment-related requirements of the Polar Code.

Refer to MEPC 68/WP.7 for additional information

Reports of sub-committees (Agenda Item 12)


The Committee concurred with the recommendation of CCC 1 not to prepare any indicative lists of HME substances, taking into account the Sub-Committee's views regarding their lack of practical value and the difficulties that would be encountered in developing such lists. 

the Committee approved the draft amendments to the IMSBC Code, subject to removal of the duplicated text of MARPOL Annex V regulations from the draft new section 14 and revision of the introductory part of that section accordingly. 

Next MEPC Meeting 

MEPC 69 has been scheduled to be held from 18 to 22 April 2016 and MEPC 70 has been tentatively scheduled to be held from 24 to 28 October 2016. 

New subjects 

- to consider standards for shipboard gasification waste to energy systems. 

- Review of MARPOL Annex II requirements relating to the discharge requirements for tank washings containing high-melting or high-viscosity and persistent floating products (for PPR)

Resolutions and Circulars

Attached are tentative lists of annexes to the report of the Committee and of circulars approved at this session: