This document must be carried onboard a vessel that has installed approved MARPOL ERBs, RMI said in a new marine safety advisory to shipping No. 32-20.

From 1st October, amendments to MARPOL Annex I, II, V, VI and the NOx Technical Code permit the use of electronic record books, to enable the accurate record keeping of movements of shipboard substances and materials hazardous to the environment. These amendments follow resolutions adopted at MEPC 74 in May 2019.

As a reminder, electronic recordkeeping for MARPOL may only be utilized if the software has been approved by the Administrator. A current list of Administrator-approved software providers can be found here. Requirements for MARPOL ERBs and other electronic logbook systems are in RMI Marine Notice 7-041-5.

However, if switching to MARPOL ERBs, vessels must continue to preserve their existing, hardcopy books onboard for the required three-year minimum after the last entry has been made, unless otherwise specified. This includes Oil Record Books.

Though MARPOL allows ERBs to be used in lieu of hard copy record books, not all port States will accept them.5 Therefore, the administrator recommends that any ships utilizing ERBs also be able to produce the appropriate documentation in hard copy.

Last week, USCG announced its Marine Inspectors will begin examining ERBs in a similar manner as written record books.

See also: MARPOL fines for oil pollution: What to watch