Ballast Water Management progress “too slow”

IMO’s MEPC meeting A seven-step outline for decarbonising shipping was established at the meeting

The installation timeframe for ballast water management systems has been extended until September 2024, prompting some NGOs to say decarbonisation policy is moving too slowly.

The announcement, made at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting, was met with concern by John Maggs, senior policy advisor at Seas At Risk.

He said: "Some important progress has been made but if the process is to produce a fit for purpose initial strategy by 2018 then it needs to shift up a gear and start focussing on the core issue of how to cut ship emissions deeply in the short term.”

A seven-step outline for decarbonising shipping was established at the meeting. Further to this, the IMO has set out to deliver an interim climate deal for shipping in 2018, with a plan scheduled for 2023.

Most existing ships will have to retrofit systems on their first IOPP renewal survey after 8 September 2019. But the D-1 discharge standard and a documented BWM plan must be in place by the convention’s entry into force on 8 September 2017.

The creation of a new work programme for the IMO’s Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) subcommittee eased the way for a smoother introduction to the 2020 sulphur cap, while a draft outline for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategy has been prepared.

The Baltic Sea and North Sea will be the next Tier III NOx emission control areas, effective 21 January 2021, after amendments to Regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI were adopted. Vessels built after that date must meet Tier III emission levels when sailing in these areas.

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