The IMO's MEPC 75, which took place remotely from 16-20 November, agreed that, from 2023, all ships above 400 GT need to have an approved SEEMP onboard, which means they must achieve new pre-defined energy efficiency values, as an initial step towards the 2030 target of a 40% improvement compared with 2008 values. This is subject to final approval at IMO's MEPC 76 meeting in June.

Interferry’s survey aims to reconcile the diversity of ferry operations within sector-specific adaptations to the regulatory instrument, the Energy Efficiency Existing Ships Index (EEXI). In this regard, one of Interferry’s main objectives is that true CO2 reductions through historic and future measures carried out by ferry operators are fully credited in the regulation.

IMO regulations are generally based on the conditions governing deepsea shipping that are not always appropriate in the smaller shortsea segment. The main EEXI compliance option is power limitation.  Ocean-going ships can typically limit their installed power and moderately reduce speed to meet the required ‘average performance’ within a shipping sector. In contrast, the multi-various nature of passenger and cargo ferry services demands operational flexibility and there is no obvious technical solution to ensure regulatory compliance,

...explained regulatory affairs director Johan Roos.

Before launching its survey, Interferry carried out a sample review of 125 ro-ro cargo ships and 110 ro-pax vessels in the fleet which found that many existing ferries could not comply to the EEXI as currently proposed, not because they are inefficient, but due to the framing of the standards.

Between now and MEPC76 next June, a lot of work needs to be done working out the details both for the frameworks and for any necessary sector adaptations. For Interferry members, it is critically important that we collect as much relevant fleet data as possible to ensure that the EEXI is implemented in a fair and reasonable manner,

...says Mr Roos.

Our data survey is pulling in some much-needed thinking power from the membership in the first round of this work and will be concluded before Christmas so that we can provide initial input to the IMO to set the scene for the upcoming discussions.