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MEPC 69 In a Nutshell

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The international shipping political community gathered in London as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held its 69th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session at the IMO Headquarters in London from April 18 – 22, 2016)

This agenda for this highly anticipated meeting held the potential for many twists and turns. Ballast water management, industry GHG emissions, and vessel efficiency were all in line to take a battering from Member States, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and industry associations.

Upon arriving at the end of the week we took the opportunity to reflect on the week’s “movers and shakers”. The topic of ballast water management is eerily quiet. At the time of writing (16.00 Friday, April 22) not much information has been released about changed to G8 guidelines and the only Member State to act upon Ballast Water Convention ratification was Peru, who announced its parliament had ratified the Ballast Water Convention. There are still some internal steps to get through before the instrument of ratification is deposited with IMO but that should happen soon. However, there were aspects that were hotly debated including self-monitoring, first mover penalties and even the request for a 15-year relaxation period for BWMS retrofitting.

When it came to Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency there were pats on the backs all around as the success of projects and programmes were celebrated. The most controversial aspect of that particular agenda item was the Cook Islands delegation calling upon upon fellow Member States to take more responsibility to oversee the quality compliance of marine fuels.

The principal achievement for this arduous week in the political calendar was the MEPC reaching agreement on mandatory requirements for ships to record and report their fuel consumption. Under the agreement, which will be drafted for adoption at MEPC 70, ships of 5,000 GT+ will be required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel used in addition to other specified data. [...] 


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