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CIMAC position on the proposed delay of IMO Tier III standards

26 September 2013

CIMAC has issued a statement on the proposed delay of the IMO Tier III emission standards for seagoing ships by five years, until 2021. In the statement, CIMAC calls on IMO members to implement Tier III as planned, with effect from January 2016.

“CIMAC is concerned about the decision of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 65) to propose a postponement by five years in the implementation of stricter limits on emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) for ships operating in NOx Emission Control Areas (NECAs). If the proposed delay is adopted at MEPC 66, it would lead to stranded investments, jeopardise jobs in the shipbuilding industry, and weaken the reputation of the IMO.

“The decision was taken despite the fact that, after 18 months of thorough investigations, an IMO experts group concluded that the technologies needed to comply with the Tier III NOx values are available. The possible delay stems from a Russian proposal to amend MARPOL Annex VI in order to postpone the implementation of NOx Tier III standards from 1st January 2016 to 1st January 2021, against the votes of the USA, Canada, and some EU member states. The decision still needs to be adopted at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 66), to be held at the beginning of April 2014.

“The international shipbuilding industry strongly depends on adequate, absolutely certain lead times prior to the implementation of new environmental standards, in order to adapt its business strategies and related design and production processes appropriately. Thus, a deferral like this, just two years before its entry into force, has severe consequences for vessels currently being planned or on order for construction after 2016. Significant investments by manufacturers as well as their customers are threatened, in particular of those companies playing a leading role as pioneers of environmentally friendly Tier III technologies.

“Moreover, due to a possible independent decision by the USA regarding its national NECA, an undesirable legislative patchwork may result. And even if the decision were to be withdrawn at MEPC 66, the result is still a year of great uncertainty, as well as the potential undermining of the dependability of IMO legislation, in principle. Finally, the primary proposal of stricter limits for NOx emissions was initiated as a substantial contribution to the conservation of the environment on a global scale—an ambition which should not be lost sight of. CIMAC therefore strongly requests that IMO members implement Tier III as planned all along, i.e. with effect from January 2016.”

CIMAC (The International Council on Combustion Engines) is a non-profit association of manufacturers of diesel engines and gas turbines, users such as ship owners, utilities and rail operators, suppliers, oil companies, and classification societies with more than 400 member companies in 28 countries worldwide.

Source: CIMAC