The 6th session of the PPR Sub-Committee considered various issues in relation to the implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap, including control measures by Port states, possible non-availability of compliant fuel and possible safety implications related to the use of low sulphur fuels. Guidelines for Consistent Implementation of the 0.5% Sulphur Limit were finalised for adoption at MEPC 74, including information on identified potential safety implications associated with compliant fuels and a format for a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) to be used in circumstances where a vessel has been unable to source compliant fuel.
Discussions on how to treat vessels that are found to have non-compliant fuel, even though they have stemmed and paid for compliant fuel and have a BDN confirming it to be so, were inconclusive. Guidance was developed for port states on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel, but it will be necessary for MEPC to give some consideration to concrete proposals for measures in this regard.
Proposals for ad-hoc sampling of fuels by port state authorities prior to delivery to ships were rejected, on the grounds that this would create too much of an administrative burden. Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI were developed, however, in relation to sampling by port states on board ships of both the in-use fuel and of fuel in bunker tanks that is not yet being used. Guidelines have been agreed for sampling of in-use fuel and further guidance needs to be developed for sampling of bunker tanks.
The 10th IPTA-Navigate Chemical and Product Tanker Conference took place on 5th and 6th of March with representatives of the shipping industry, major charterers and some IMO member states in attendance. The keynote address was given by Mr Ki Tack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, who highlighted the work being undertaken by the IMO in relation to the forthcoming cap on emissions of sulphur dioxide and measures to reduce Geeenhouse Gas emissions from ships. Panel discussions on these issues delved deeper into these issues, with delegates being encouraged to participate as much as possible.
Subsequent sessions covered amendments to the IBC Code and forthcoming regulatory changes for the carriage of vegetable oils and waxes, as well as operational issues and market analyses, providing an interesting and informative day and ahalf for delegates.
EU Regulation 1257/2013 is intended to bring forward application of the Hong Kong Convention on Ship Recycling. It will become effective on 31 December 2018, unless the annual ship recycling output of the recycling facilities in the EU approved list has reached 2.5 million LDT before then, and will apply primarily to new EU flagged ships. Existing ships and ships flying third party Flags trading in EU waters will be requred to comply with the requirements for an Inventory of Hazardous Materials by the end of 2020.
On 19 December 2016 the EU published its list of approved facilities, which will be updated by further implementing acts as appropriate in the future.
The IMO's Data Collection System will become effective on 1 January 2019, and under this system vessels of 5,000 gt and above will be required to collect information on the amount of fuel they consume, distance travelled and hours underway. The data collected over the course of a calendar year must be aggregated and reported to the Flag Administration for submission to a central databse managed by the IMO.
The EU had initially indicated its willingness to align its system to a global system tht might be developed by the IMO. The system that has now been developed by the IMO, however, is much less detailed than the EU system and will only make anonymised data available to analysis by IMO member states. The EU, by contrast, plans to make data on the supposed efficeincy of individual ships available to the general public. The European Commission is currently engaged on a consultation exercise to determine whether or not the two systems should be aligned.