The MARPOL Annex VI amendments to limit sulphur content in bunker fuel oil are coming into force this April. Owners and operators must take steps now to ensure compliance with Annex VI, including maintaining accurate records.
The 75th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75), apart from adopting amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, also continued deliberations on reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping.
The amendments introduce revised procedures for sampling and verification of the sulphur content of fuel oil, and a new table for the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) reduction factors.
New measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by commercial vessels were adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at MEPC 76 in the attempt to support existing regulations, which aim to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40 per cent in comparison to 2008 levels. The said amendments become effective on the 1st of November 2022.
MARPOL Annex VI has 100 contracting states who represent almost 97 per cent of global merchant shipping by tonnage. However, while the Organization's efforts do push the industry towards decarbonisation, there are a number of nations that are important to world trade that have not ratified the Annex. This means that ships registered in for example Argentina, Mexico or Sri Lanka won't have to comply with Annex VI, with no effective sanctions available in response.
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