1 January 2019

  • Escape Route Signs and Equipment Location Markings: To ensure uniformity of safety signs with ISO standards, the IMO has established updated signs and graphic symbols to be used to mark the location of ways of escape, life-saving systems, and mandatory action signs for launching lifesaving equipment.
  • Information to be included in bunker delivery note: The current bunker delivery note (BDN) limits the supplier’s declaration to stating that the fuel oil supplied complies with MARPOL Annex regulation 14.1, which reduces the global limit from 3.5% to 0.5% from 1 January 2020, or regulation 14.4 covering limits for emission control areas. It does not cover the supply of high sulphur fuel oil to ships with scrubbers or those with an exemption. Text of the BDN was amended to allow such supply.
  • Baltic Sea and the North Sea Emission Control Areas for NOX Tier III control: The Baltic Sea and North Sea emission control areas (ECA) will be extended to cover NOx in addition to SOx. Engines with power output over 130kw installed on vessels constructed on or after 01 January 2021 must be Tier III certified if operating inside these two areas. The regulation also regards non-identical replacement engines or additional engines installed on existing ships on or after 1 January 2021.
  • Amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk cargoes (IMSBC) codeNew schedules for some cargoes have been introduced and some existing ones have been amended. Coal will now be classified as both Group A and B cargo unless otherwise tested.
  • IMO Data Collection System (DCS) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP Part II): All ships of 5,000 gross tonnes and above, engaging in international voyages should collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use. The data is reported to the flag State after the end of each calendar year and the flag State issues a Statement of Compliance to the ship. SEEMP Part II must describe the methodology that will be used to collect the data and the processes that will be used to report the data to the ship's flag State.
  • Emissions control requirements in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong: In China, from 1 January 2019 vessels must change to fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% before entering China’s territorial sea; In Taiwan, ships without scrubbers must burn fuel with a sulphur content not more than 0.50% when entering its international commercial port areas; Hong Kong’s current Fuel at Berth Regulation requiring ships to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% while at berth will be replaced by a regulation extending the standard to ships operating in Hong Kong waters. Ships without scrubbers will need to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% within Hong Kong waters.
  • China Regulation on Data Collection for Energy Consumption of Ships (RDCECS): Ships of 400 GT or more, or powered by main propulsion machinery over 750 kW of propulsion power calling a port in China should report energy consumption data of last voyage to China MSA before leaving a port.



8 January 2019

2016 Amendments to Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC): Amendments related to Regulations 4.3 and 5.1

  • Regulation 4.3: The MLC Guideline B4.3.1, about the provisions on occupational accidents, injuries and diseases, now includes harassment and bullying;
  • Regulation 5.1: Standard A5.1.3 allows an extension of the validity of the Maritime Labour (ML) Certificate for not more than five months in cases where ships have passed the renewal inspection but a new full term ML Certificate cannot be issued immediately and provided on board. The new certificate will remain valid for a period not exceeding five years from the date of the current one.

9 April 2019


Electronic exchange of information: Electronic exchange of information will be mandatory for public authorities with a transition period of no less than 12 months from the date of the introduction of such systems.

30 April 2019

EU MRV shipping Regulation 2015/757: submission of CO2 emissions report: Companies must submit to the EU Commission and to the authorities of the flag States, an emissions report about the CO2 emissions and other information for the reporting period for each ship under their responsibility. By 30 June 2019 all vessels must have a document of compliance onboard.

1 June 2019

Baltic Sea special area: Passenger ships must not discharge untreated sewage in the Baltic Sea. To discharge treated sewage, ships must have onboard an approved  sewage treatment plant meeting the requirements set out in Resolution MEPC.227(64).

30 June 2019

Carriage of Document of Compliance (DOC): Ships arriving or departing from an EU port and which have conducted voyages during that reporting period must carry onboard a DOC issued by an accredited verifier. The DOC must be valid for a period of 18 months from the end of the reporting period.

1 July 2019

  • New requirements for compressed air breathing apparatus used in fire fighting: Compressed air breathing apparatus on ships built before 1 July 2014 must have an audible alarm and a visual or other device that will alert the wearer before the volume of the compressed air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 liters. Compliance nust be verified at the first safety equipment survey on or after 1 July 2019. For ships built on or after 1 July 2014, these requirements have to be met on delivery.
  • Amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual: Ships should be supplied with up-to-date copies of the IAMSAR Manual Vol.III. Crew members should be informed of the changes introduced in the new version of the publication.
  • Amendments to the Performance Standards for EGC and NAVTEX Equipment: MSC.430(98) includes amendments to the performance standards for Enhanced Group Call and MSC.431(98) for NAVTEX. This equipment must be onboard as per SOLAS IV/7 and it must meet the relevant performance standards in SOLAS IV/14. Equipment installed on or after 1 July 2019, should be type approved according to the SOLAS IV/14 performance standards.
  • Emissions control area in China - shore power: Vessels capable of receiving shore power, must use shore power if they berth for more than three hours in ports in the coastal ECA that have shore power capabilities and more than two hours in ports with such capabilities in the Inland ECAs.

1 September 2019

EEDI for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships: IMO has decided to increase the reference line, defined as a baseline EEDI for each ship type, representing reference EEDI as a function of ship size, by 20% and to introduce a deadweight threshold value. This new reference line will apply from 1 September 2019.

13 October 2019

  • Implementation schedule of ballast water management for ships: The implementation schedule for compliance with D-2 biological standard remains unchanged. Namely ships built on or after 8 September 2017 should have a ballast water treatment system (BWTS) installed upon delivery, while for ships constructed before this date, the phase-in schedule depends on the IOPP renewal date after 8 September 2019.
  • Endorsements of additional surveys on the International Ballast Water Management Certificate: Regulation E-1 of the Ballast Water Management Convention now clarifies that additional surveys will require endorsement on BWM certificate. Regulation E-5 also clarifies that requirements for Annual survey schedule also applies to Intermediate surveys.