RS presents a summary of the 81st session of the MEPC


RS presents a summary of the 81st session of the MEPC
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Experts of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) took part in the 81st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 81) as members of the delegation of the Russian Federation. The session was held from 18 to 22 March, 2024, at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization in London.

The session adopted a number of amendments to the MARPOL Convention, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), as well as other IMO instruments:

  • the draft MSC-MEPC circular on Guidelines for the sampling of fuel oil for determination of compliance with MARPOL Annex VI and SOLAS chapter II-2 was approved;
  • amendments to regulations A-1 and B-2 of the BWM Convention concerning the use of electronic record books were adopted, along with related requirements for the approval of electronic record books by the Administration;
  • a series of MARPOL Annex VI amendments regarding low flash-point fuel, marine diesel engine replacing a steam system and the issue of access to and details of the information submitted to the IMO Data Collection System with regard to ship fuel consumption were agreed upon;
  • Guidance for the temporary storage of treated sewage and/or grey water in ballast water tanks was approved.

In line with the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, the Committee continued the development of technical and economic elements of mid-term measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships and identified a viable format for the introduction of these new requirements into the MARPOL Convention. The Committee also drafted a timeline for the forthcoming work on a comprehensive assessment of the potential socio-economic impact associated with the planned application of the mid-term measures under development.

It is important to mention the introduction of new sulphur and nitrogen oxide Emission Control Areas within Canada's exclusive economic zone in the Arctic and in the Norwegian Sea (agreed upon by the Committee on request of Canada and Norway, respectively). In these areas, more stringent requirements will be imposed for sulphur limits in marine fuels, as well as higher requirements for diesel engines installed on new ships to be operated in these areas. The necessary amendments to MARPOL Annex VI are expected to be approved during the next session of the MEPC.

Detailed results of the MEPC 81 session can be found under the section "Useful Information" on the official RS website. The 82nd session of the Committee (MEPC 82) is scheduled for September 30 - October 4, 2024.

Further reading:

RS published an up-to-date list of changes in international requirements

Additional information:

Founded in 1913, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is a world-renowned classification society that operates within all spheres of the maritime industry. The organization’s main objectives are to enhance the safety standards of human life at sea, ensure the safe navigation of ships and the secure transportation of cargoes by sea and inland waterways, as well as to develop standards for environmental protection.

RS reviews technical documentation, surveys ships under construction and in service, issues documents and certificates for vessels, offshore facilities, ship machinery, equipment and devices; conducts measurements of ships and floating facilities; carries out surveys to ensure compliance with international conventions; certifies industrial products and manufacturers, quality management systems, sustainability management and occupational health and safety management systems in compliance with ISO standards. RS surveys general cargo containers, thermal containers, tank containers, platform containers, offshore containers, etc.