MARPOL

The latest International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) legislation, as reported by Lloyd's Register Class News

Statutory alert: China publishes new sulphur emission control regulations within Pearl River Delta, Chang Jiang Delta and Bohai Rim waters

Class News No. 28/2015 | 16th December 2015

Applicability: Vessels navigating, anchoring, berthing or operating in China ECAs, except military vessels, recreational vessels or fishing vessels

China’s Ministry of Transport has published new regulations introducing sulphur (SOx) emission control requirements within three Ship Emission Control Areas (ECAs): Pearl River Delta (PRD), Chang Jiang Delta (CJD) and Bohai Rim (BR). These ECAs are not designated under MARPOL Annex VI.

The geographical boundaries of the three ECAs are shown in the images at the end of this Class News.

Marine fuel bunkering yacht at sea

‘Core ports’ have been designated within them. These are: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan, and Huanghua - Hong Kong waters and Macau waters are excluded from the Pearl River Delta ECA as they have their own requirements – see Class News 09/2015.

How the requirements will apply

The SOx emission controls will be implemented within the three ECAs in phases, starting with the core ports, and then covering all waters.

According to the regulations, the timeline is as follows:

From 1st January 2016, there will be strict enforcement of the existing international conventions and domestic laws and regulations on sulphur oxides, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. In addition, it has been officially indicated that the core ports within the Chang Jiang Delta ECA will have the option to introduce a 0.5% sulphur limit and/or other control measures, in view of the 2016 G-20 Summit being held on 4th to 5th September 2016, in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang. The ports within the other two ECAs will not be included. Further information and guidance on implementing this aspect of the regulations are expected to be published in the middle of 2016.

From 1st January 2017, vessels which are at berth in the core ports (except during the first hour after berthing, and the last hour before departing) must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

From 1st January 2018, vessels which are at berth in all ports in the ECAs (except during the first hour after berthing, and the last hour before departing) must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

From 1st January 2019, vessels entering the ECAs must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

Before 31st December 2019, an assessment will be carried out by the Chinese authorities with a view to taking one or more of the following actions:

  • Reducing the maximum sulphur content to 0.1% for vessels entering the ECAs
  • Expanding the geographical size of the emission control areas
  • Considering further control measures

Alternative measures such as using shore power, clean energy and exhaust gas cleaning systems will be accepted.

Further details from the China MSA

Further details and guidance on implementing the regulations are expected from the China Ministry of Transport’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), and further Class News will be issued accordingly.

The text of the new regulations (in Chinese only), issued by the Ministry of Transport can be downloaded here.

For more information, visit Lloyds Register


Statutory alert: MARPOL Annex IV passenger ship sewage discharge and treatment requirements - postponement of implementation agreed in principle

Class News No. 27/2015 | 11th December 2015

Applicability: All shipowners and technical managers

Class News 08/2013 detailed entry into force of MARPOL Annex IV requirements prohibiting passenger vessels from discharging sewage within the Baltic Sea special area. These requirements were intended to apply to new passenger ships from 1st January 2016, however, a delay in arranging reception facilities means that the special area cannot take effect on this date. Therefore, the IMO’s marine environment protection committee (MEPC) has agreed in principle, i.e. without formally amending MARPOL Annex IV yet, to implement the requirements from 1st June 2019 (and from 1st June 2021, for existing ships).

Aerial view of sailing yachts in Baltic Sea port marina

Class News 08/2013 also detailed the updated performance test and standard requirements for sewage treatment plants contained in section 4 of Resolution MEPC.227(64), and specifically the requirement for passenger ships operating in the Baltic Sea and other special areas to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard in section 4.2. The IMO has also agreed in principle to postpone the implementation date for this requirement, again to 1st June 2019 for new ships, and 1st June 2021 for existing ships.

The changes to MARPOL Annex IV to confirm these new implementation dates are expected to be adopted at the 69th MEPC meeting (MEPC 69) in April 2016.

Ships other than passenger vessels

Ships other than passenger vessels must still comply with the Resolution MEPC.227(64) performance test and standard requirements (excluding the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard) on or after 1st January 2016, though this is subject to final confirmation at MEPC 69.

Further updates

A further Class News update will be issued after MEPC 69 to update owners and technical managers of passenger vessels on the final agreed implementation dates, as well as on the availability of treatment plants that can meet the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard. This Class News will also update owners and technical managers of ships other than passenger vessels on the application of the performance test and standard requirements.

For more information, visit Lloyds Register


Statutory alert: Changes to MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 13 NOx Tier III requirements

Class News No. 20/2015 | 5th October 2015

Applicability: All shipowners, operators, charterers, engine manufacturers and other shipbuilding-related stakeholders.

Changes to MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 13* introduces important new NOx emission control area (ECA) Tier III requirements, as follows:

Fuel tankers lined up

Requirements within future NOx ECAs

Within any future designed NOx ECA, the Tier III requirements will be mandatory for ships constructed (keel laid) on or after the date of adoption of the ECA, or on any date decided by the party or parties proposing the ECA, whichever is later.

Requirements for recreational vessels less than 500GT and 24m or over

For vessels less than 500GT, 24 metres or over, that are specifically designed and used only for recreation, and operating in any NOx ECA, the Tier III requirements will only apply to marine diesel engines installed on those vessels constructed on or after 1 January 2021.

Requirements within the North American and United States Caribbean ECAs

The compliance date for ships operating in these ECAs remains the same. Engines installed on ships constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 January 2016, operating in these ECAs, must comply with the Tier III requirements. These ECAs are defined in Resolution MEPC.176 (58).

Note: The Regulation 13 Tier III NOx limits remain the same.

For more information, visit Lloyd’s Register

*These changes to Regulation 13 are contained in paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2, and were adopted in Resolution MEPC.251 (66) on 4th April 2014. They supersede the previous requirements contained in Resolution MEPC.176 (58).


Statutory alert: Clarification on the use of generic cleaning products for tank washing

Class News No. 47/2014 | 19th December 2014

Applicability: Owners, managers and operators of vessels complying with MARPOL Annex II.

Regulation 13.5.1 of MARPOL Annex II states that “when a washing medium other than water, such as mineral oil or chlorinated solvent, is used instead of water to wash a tank, its discharge shall be governed by the provisions of either Annex I or Annex II, which would apply to the medium had it been carried as cargo.”

Fuel pump fuelling yacht in dock

However, there has been some misunderstanding that only those products listed in Annex 10 of the MEPC.2/Circular – “Cargo Tank Cleaning Additives” – can be used for tank washing.

To address this, the following note will be added to Annex 10 to clarify that products listed in chapters 17 or 18 of the IBC Code and list 1 of MEPC.2.Circular can also be used: “It should be noted that where products or their solutions that appear in chapter 17 or 18 of the IBC Code or list 1 of the MEPC.2/Circular are used as washing media, their discharge shall be governed by regulation 13.5.1 of MARPOL Annex II and they do not need to be listed here."

What companies need to do:

Owners, managers and operators of vessels complying with Annex II of MARPOL should bring this information to the attention of their masters and all relevant employees and parties, and take any necessary action to avoid any misunderstanding with authorities.

For more information, visit Lloyd's Register

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