The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) took place on 13-17 May at IMO headquarters in London, with key environmental subjects on its agenda. ABS provided an overview of the progress made during the meeting.
MEPC 74 concluded on Friday with a comprehensive set of guidelines for the consistent implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap. IMO also approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI relating to enforcement of the 0.50% sulphur limit.
IMO’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 6), held from 29 April to 3 May finalized draft amendments to the STCW Code, and namely the list of certificates or documentary evidence required under the STCW Convention.
Hong Kong Marine Department issued a shipping note informing of ten pieces of amended and two pieces of new Hong Kong legislation, which implements the latest technical requirements in relation to the construction and survey of ships and the fire safety requirements of ships stipulated in Chapter II-1 and II-2 of SOLAS.
Amended on three occasions since its entry into force in 2013 in order to keep up with the needs of the shipping sector, the MLC Convention has now been ratified by 90 member States representing more than 91% of the world merchant shipping fleet. The MLC, 2006 consolidates almost all previous maritime instruments adopted throughout the century.
The second set of amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for improving crew safety and welfare have entered into force, as of 8 January 2019. The amendments, agreed in 2016, are comprised of additions to the guidelines of Regulation 4.3. They cover health and safety protection and accident prevention.
Autonomous ship is a marine vessel with sensors, automated navigation, propulsion and auxiliary systems, with the necessary decision logic to follow mission plans, sense the environment, adjust mission execution according to the environment, and potentially operate without human intervention. The maritime industry benefits by autonomous vessels since the latter includes operational efficiency, human error reduction, emission reduction, increased safety, and operational cost reduction.
As of 1st January 2019, amendments to the bunker delivery note have entered into force, relating to the supply of marine fuel oil to ships, which have fitted alternative mechanisms to comply with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap. Other amendments that entered into force this year include the IMSBC Code 2017 amendment and the amendments to designate North Sea and Baltic Sea as ECAs.
With effect from 6 December 2018, Singapore’s port limits have been revised. The MPA Singapore issued a new circular informing that, from 19 December 2018, vessels shall comply with the amended reporting procedures for vessels manoeuvring in port. Also, all power driven vessels will be required to be fitted with a working transponder as a port entry requirement.
Along with a major focus on the regulatory scoping exercise for autonomous ships, the landmark 100th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 100) held on 3-7 December, pushed further regulatory work on shipping safety, with the adoption of amendments to the SPS Code and the STCW Code, as well as the approval of draft amendments and guidelines.
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