18 July 2011
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from international shipping. The new requirements were adopted by Parties to MARPOL Annex VI at the 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO, which was held in London on 11-15 July 2011.
The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI “Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships” add a new Chapter 4 to Annex VI on “Regulations on energy efficiency for ships” to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships:
- The EEDI is a non-prescriptive, performance-based mechanism that leaves the choice of technologies to use in a specific ship design to the industry. As long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained, ship designers and builders would be free to use the most cost-efficient solutions for the ship to comply with the regulations.
- The SEEMP establishes a mechanism for operators to improve the energy efficiency of ships.
The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013. Flexibilities exist in the initial period of up to six and a half years after the entry into force, when the Administration may waive the requirement to comply with the EEDI for certain new ships, such as those that are already under construction.
Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate.
The new Chapter also includes a regulation on “Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships”, which requires Administrations, in co-operation with IMO and other international bodies, to promote and provide support directly or through IMO to States, especially developing States, that request technical assistance.
The MEPC agreed a future work plan, to continue the work on energy efficiency measures for ships, to include the development of the EEDI framework for ship types and sizes and propulsion systems not covered by the current EEDI requirements and the development of EEDI and SEEMP-related guidelines.