The Guidelines aim to help the preparations for uniform implementation of the lower limit for sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil, which will apply from 1 January 2020. IMO has already issued ship implementation planning guidance, to help shipowners prepare for the new limit.


The meeting will also consider draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, regarding fuel oil samples and testing and verification of fuel oil sulphur content. It will also analyze draft amendments to associated port State control and onboard sampling guidelines.

In addition, the Sub-Committee will start its work to develop measures to limit the risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. Moreover, work to establish appropriate control measures to reduce the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping will also continue.

Commenting on this, the Clean Arctic Alliance called on Member States to give emphasis to the target of establishing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic.

Specifically, Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, mentioned that IMO member states must be focused on banning HFO in the Arctic, 'especially in light of recent revelations from the IPCC on the urgent need to limiting the effects of climate change on the Arctic region'.

The Sub-Committee will furthermore address the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), which prohibits the use of biocides using organotin compounds. A comprehensive proposal to amend annex 1 to the AFS Convention to include controls on the biocide cybutryne will be considered.

Continuing, the meeting will consider revisions to guidelines for the provisional assessment of liquid substances transported in bulk. In fact it is expected to finalize the draft guide on practical implementation of the pollution prevention and response treaties (OPRC Convention and the OPRC-HNS Protocol).

Finally, the Sub-Committee will resume its review of the 2015 Guidelines on Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems.