American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) published its Regulatory trends and impact 2023 report, which provides a summary of the latest regulatory efforts under development at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), highlighting the key topics championed by the organization to improve the safety, efficiency and technological leadership of the maritime industry.
ccording to the report, the expansive reach of the maritime industry has many facets, but it is unified by several beliefs — the safety of seafarers is paramount, vessels should operate safely and efficiently and good stewardship of the environment is a duty belonging to all. Through both international agreements and local governance, the nations of the world come together to give effect to these beliefs in the form of maritime regulations and guidelines. They are created to provide safeguards against the many hazards vessels may encounter at sea, including storms, collisions and groundings.
- Strategy for GHG Reduction and Mid-Term Measures
- Developing Guidance for Alternative Fuels
- Regulatory Pathway for Autonomous Shipping
- EU Fit for 55 — Cap-andTrade Emissions System
- U.S. and China Policies on Emissions and Cold-Ironing When at Berth
- Panama Canal Green Route Plan 2050
2023 IMO GHG Strategy
The Initial International Maritime Organization (IMO) Strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, adopted at the 72nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), set specific milestones such as reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per transport work, by at least 40 percent by 2030 and by 70 percent by 2050 along with reducing total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050.
Furthermore, the initial strategy established a road map specifying follow-up actions for revising the strategy in 2023, by setting more ambitious targets along with short-, mid- and long-term measures. At MEPC 80, the IMO adopted the 2023 Revised IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. The 2023 IMO GHG Strategy increases the levels of ambition compared to the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. The levels of ambition and indicative checkpoints shall consider the Well-to-Wake (WtW) GHG emissions of marine fuels, as addressed in the Guidelines on life-cycle GHG intensity of marine fuels life-cycle analysis (LCA) Guidelines with the overall objective of reducing GHG emissions of international shipping without a shift to other sectors.
Regulatory framework for alternative fuels
Amendments to IMSBC CODE (06-21)
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted Resolution MSC.500(105) contains several amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. This set of amendments (06-21 Amendments) includes the following:
- Reclassification of ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer (non-hazardous).
- Amendments to section 7 addressing “Cargoes which may liquefy or undergo dynamic separation.”
- Addition of new definitions relating to the phenomenon of “dynamic separation,” including deliberations regarding the definition of “group A” cargoes.
- Addition of new schedules for lead concentrate and leach residue containing lead.
- Substance identification number for bulk cargoes.
Navigating the regulatory landscape
The regulatory landscape is complex and ever-changing, making a focus on regulatory compliance essential to smooth vessel operations. In ways both great and small, some regulatory developments must be understood simply to maintain compliance, while other developments stand to transform vessel operations in the decades ahead.