Several member states and international organisations have proposed that the IMO should reconsider the direction, in which the amendment of MARPOL Annex IV has taken concerning existing ships.
MARPOL Annex IV contains a set of regulations regarding the discharge of sewage into the sea from ships, including regulations regarding the ships’ equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharge, the provision of port reception facilities for sewage, and requirements for survey and certification.
The proposal came from an intersessional correspondence group, including India, Japan, Liberia, Palau, Panama, Republic of Korea, CLIA, BIMCO and ICS, who have been working on preparing draft amendments to MARPOL Annex IV on sewage. The report was submitted to IMO’s subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 8) for debate.
According to BIMCO, the draft amendments outline a set of new requirements pertaining to onboard tests verifying the performance of the installed sewage treatment plants (STP), and relevant requirements of a survey regime.
In addition, the report proposes new equipment requirements and a discharge of sewage management system.
See also: Key points of the IMO PPR 7 outcome
One of the proposed measures introduces stricter standards for effluent from sewage treatment plants (STPs) and new parameters with regard to the measurement of turbidity and total residual oxidizers. The STPs on existing ships are not designed to meet these proposed new parameters.
Instead of the above mentioned stricter requirements, BIMCO and the co-sponsors of this submission have made an alternative suggestion, which is based on developing concrete measures to improve the effluent quality from STPs already installed on existing ships as well as monitor the level of improvement of effluent quality from sewage treatment plants,