Collector time | IMO: Summary of the meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76)



The International Maritime Organization (IMO) published on Monday June 21 a summary of the meeting of the Committee for the Protection of the Marine Environment (MEPC 76) which took place from June 10 to 17, 2021 during several remote sessions:

Reduction of GHG emissions linked to maritime transport Measures adopted

The MEPC has adopted amendments to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) which will oblige ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These modifications combine technical and operational approaches to improve the energy efficiency of ships, in line with the targets set in the initial IMO strategy of 2018 for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships and are also important building blocks for ships. future GHG reduction measures.

The new measures will require all ships to calculate their Existing Ship Energy Efficiency Index (EEXI) by following technical means to improve their energy efficiency and to establish their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating. Carbon intensity links GHG emissions to the work of transporting ships.

Ships will obtain a rating of their energy efficiency (A, B, C, D, E – where A is the best), which will be incorporated into their mandatory declaration of conformity to be issued by the Administration. Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders, where applicable, are also encouraged to offer incentives to ships classified A or B.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (adopted in a revised consolidated Annex VI) are expected to enter into force on November 1, 2022, with EEXI and CII certification requirements entering into force on January 1, 2023. This means that the first annual report on carbon intensity will be completed in 2023, with the first rating given in 2024.

A review clause requires the IMO to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements, no later than January 1, 2026, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further changes.

The Committee also agreed to keep under review the impacts on States of the aforementioned amendments to Annex VI of MARPOL, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular LDCs and SIDS, so that all the necessary adjustments can be made.

Find out more here:

Amendments to MARPOL – ban on HFO in the Arctic

The MEPC adopted amendments to Annex I of MARPOL (addition of a new regulation 43A) to introduce a ban on the use and transport for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in arctic waters at as of July 1, 2024.

The ban will cover the use and transport for use as fuel of oils having a density at 15 ° C greater than 900 kg / m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50 ° C greater than 180 mm2 / s. Ships engaged in securing the safety of ships, or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response would be exempt. Ships that meet certain construction standards for the protection of fuel oil tanks are expected to comply as of July 1, 2029.

A Party to MARPOL whose coastline borders Arctic waters may temporarily waive the requirements for vessels flying its flag when operating in waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of that Party, until July 1, 2029.

Amendments to Annexes I and IV of MARPOL concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements

The MEPC adopted amendments to the draft amendments to Annexes I and IV of MARPOL concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements.

The amendment clarifies that the Administration may exempt a UNSP barge from the annual survey and certification requirements, for a period not exceeding 5 years provided that the UNSP barge has undergone a survey to confirm that certain conditions are met.

The amendments also provide for the form for the International Oil Pollution Exemption Certificate for Non-Self-Propelled Unmanned Barges. The MEPC also approved a related circular on guidelines for the exemption of UNSP barges.

Amendments to the AFS Convention – Cybutrene

The MEPC adopted amendments to the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), to include controls on cybutryn biocide.

The AFS convention already prohibits the use of biocides using organotin compounds.

Underwater noise – other work to start

The Committee agreed to start further work on underwater noise from ships. The MEPC agreed to include a new outcome on the review of the 2014 Guidelines for the Reduction of Underwater Noise from Commercial Shipping to Address Negative Impacts on Marine Life (MEPC.1 / Circ. 833) and the identification of next steps.

The Ship Design and Construction (SDC) subcommittee has been tasked with coordinating the work as the review of the guidelines focuses on technical issues, with a target year of completion of 2023.

A significant portion of the underwater noise generated by human activity can be related to commercial shipping. The international community recognizes that underwater noise radiated by commercial vessels can have negative short- and long-term consequences on marine life, especially marine mammals.

Air pollution and energy efficiency


  • Approved the adopted amendments to the Guide to Best Practices for Member States / Coastal States, including the indicative example of license for bunkering;
  • Approved a work plan to advance work on the concept of shaft / motor power limitation;
  • Adopted amendments to the Guidelines for determining the minimum propulsive power to maintain the maneuverability of ships in adverse conditions; and
  • Adoption of amendments to the 2018 guidelines on the method of calculating the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) achieved for new ships.

Postponed articles

Due to lack of time, a number of items were postponed to the next session, in particular the results of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Control (PPR 8).

Note: Manifold Times coverage of MEPC 76 with a timeline from the start of the meeting to the current publication date can be found below:

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Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Posted: 22 June 2021



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