MEPC approves BWM treaty draft amendments

07 Jul 2017
MEPC 71

MEPC met to discuss Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention treaty amendments and other environmental issues

The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 71) has approved draft amendments to the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention treaty linking BWM installation implementation schedules to ships’ renewal surveys.

The amendments relate to the first renewal survey as determined by the Committee following the date of entry into force of the Convention if: this survey is completed on or after 8 September 2019; or a renewal survey is completed on or after 8 September 2014 but prior to 8 September 2017 (when the Convention enters into force).

The amendments also concern the second renewal survey as determined by the Committee following the date of entry into force of the Convention if a renewal survey following the date of entry into force of the Convention is completed prior to 8 September 2019, provided that the conditions of paragraph 10.1.2 are not met.

Th committee, which met at IMO Headquarters in London from 3-7 July, adopted an MEPC resolution which requests the Secretary-General to circulate the draft amendments to all parties to the Convention and to all members of the organization immediately after the entry into force of the Convention.

The resolution resolves that the parties should implement the draft amended regulation B-3 (MEPC 71/17, annex […]) immediately after entry into force of the Convention, with a view to avoiding the creation of a dual treaty regime during the time period between the entry into force of the Convention and the entry into force of the amended regulation B-3.

It urges states which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so as soon as possible, in the understanding that the requirements of the amended regulation B-3 will be implemented upon the entry into force of the Convention.

The resolution also reaffirms its position regarding the provisions for non-penalisation of early movers that have installed ballast water management systems approved in accordance with the Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems.

Regarding Arctic heavy fuel oil (HFO), the MEPC will include a new output on “measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters" in the 2018-2019 biennial agenda of the Committee. The MEPC agreed to include the item in the agenda of MEPC 72 and invited submissions to MEPC 72 (which is scheduled to meet in April 2018).

Discussing the IMO’s global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 1 January 2020, the MEPC approved the new output on "Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI", for inclusion in the PPR Sub-Committee's biennial agenda for 2018-2019 and the provisional agenda for PPR 5, with a target completion year of 2019.

MEPC also approved the holding of an intersessional meeting under the PPR Sub Committee, on consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI, in the second half of 2018, for endorsement by the Council. MPEC instructed PPR 5 to prepare terms of reference for the intersessional meeting.

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