Mar. 22 2024
MEPC 81 Report

Class & statutory

Marine Environment Protection Committee 81th Session (MEPC 81) Summary Report

The 81st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 81) was held in person in London (18-22 March 2024) with hybrid facilities allowing remote participation.


MEPC 81 agreed that the discussions to set up technical and economic mid-term measures to implement the Strategy will be developed through different channels.  A dedicated GESAMP working group was established to provide best possible scientific and technical assessment of issues related to the implementation of LCA Guidelines. A GHG Expert-Workshop will lead the following works on the basket of mid-term measures (modelling the collecting and the distribution of revenues) in line with the CIA task force “without engaging policy discussions”. An outline of the “IMO net-zero framework” was drafted to integrate possible amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (new Chapter 5).


MEPC 81 adopted:

  • Amendments to Ballast Water Management Convention regarding the use of electronic water record books
  • Amendments to MARPOL Protocol I Article V for the reporting procedures of lost containers
  • Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI on low-flashpoint fuels and other fuel oil related issues; marine diesel engine replacing a steam system; accessibility of the data in the IMO Ship Fuel Consumption Database (IMO DCS) ; inclusion of data on transport work and enhanced level of granularity in the IMO DCS. Consequential amendments to SEEMP 2022 Guidelines.
  • Draft amendments to the 2021 Guidelines on the shaft/engine power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of a power reserve
  • Amendments to the unified interpretations of regulations 2.2.15 and 2.2.18 of MARPOL        Annex VI
  • Amendments to circular BWM.2/Circ.43/Rev.1 on the approval process for the modifications of a system that has already received type approval
  • Interim guidance for ports with challenging water quality
  • BWM.2/Circ.82 on Guidance for the temporary storage of treated sewage and/or grey water in ballast tanks
  • Circular on recommendations for the carriage of plastic pellets by sea in freight containers

MEPC 81 approved:

  • Designation of ECAs in the Canadian Arctic waters and the Norwegian Sea, for adoption at MEPC 82
  • An action plan to address barriers to the uptake of the Guidelines on reduction of underwater noise from shipping (MEPC.1/Circ.906) with an experience-building phase set to three years, up to 2026

MEPC 81 discussed the following matters:

  • Ballast Water Management Convention Review
  • Regulations on Black Carbon emissions from international shipping impacting the Arctic, for consideration at MEPC 82
  • Guidance on the carriage requirements of biofuels and biofuel blends by bunker vessels, for consideration by ESPH group
  • Guidance for the use of biofuels and biofuels blends, for consideration at MSC 108
  • Guidance on consistent reporting of VLSFO, ULSFO, biofuels and e-fuels to the IMO DCS, for consideration at MEPC 82