The 8th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response will take place virtually on 22-26 March 2021, focusing discussions, among others, on amendments to the IBC Code, development of a standard for the verification of ballast water compliance monitoring devices and assessment of Black Carbon emissions in Arctic shipping.
Lloyd’s Register provided an overview of the key items to be discussed at the meeting:
- Evaluation of safety and pollution hazards of chemicals and preparation of consequential amendments to the IBC Code, as well as routine ongoing updates. This session will also discuss a generic entry for “Palm oil mill effluent (POME) technical oil” be included provisionally in List 1 of the MEPC.2/Circular and subsequently in chapter 17 of the IBC Code.
- Development of a standard for the verification of ballast water compliance monitoring devices (CMDs). Such discussions will move forward after proposals for the same are introduced to the IMO. The intention is that the revised protocol can be used to verify the performance of CMDs, which may be used during commissioning testing, data gathering during the experience-building phase, compliance testing by port State control or self-monitoring. A correspondence group is expected to be set-up for taking the discussions further by PPR 8.
- Revision of MARPOL Annex IV and associated guidelines to introduce provisions for record-keeping and measures to confirm the lifetime performance of sewage treatment plants is underway, with this session of PPR reviewing the report of the correspondence group which presents, among others, outputs a new draft for the associated guidelines (amending 2012 Guidelines on implementation of effluent standards and performance tests for sewage treatment plants (resolution MEPC.227(64))). PPR 8 is expected to request the continuation of the CG from MEPC 76 with a view for finalisation of the output at PPR 9 and an extension of the target completion year for the output to 2023.
- The impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping. Discussions will move forward regarding the industry’s test results indicating that the nature of VLSFO tends towards being more paraffinic rather than aromatic. The sub-committee is expected to seek an extension from MEPC 76 for the discussions to continue on this topic.
- Development of measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. The sub-committee will decide which of the two versions of the draft guidelines prepared by the Correspondence Group should be considered for finalisation. The sub-committee is expected to defer finalisation of the draft guidelines until PPR 9 (with a drafting group expected to be setup then for review of the draft proposals) and subsequent approval by MEPC. Consequently, the sub-committee is expected to support continuation of the CG’s work on further development of the favoured version on the draft guidelines and to request MEPC 76 to extend the target completion year for this output to 2022.
- Follow-up work emanating from the Action Plan to Address Marine Plastic Litter from Ships. PPR had setup a CG with the terms of reference directing the group towards the development of a draft MEPC resolution introducing amendments to MARPOL Annex V, and an appendix listing the data to be considered for developing reporting requirements. These draft requirements aim to facilitate reporting of the accidental loss or discharge of fishing gear and will be a step further from the non-prescriptive and non-binding reporting requirements currently contained within MARPOL Annex V. A non-exhaustive list of functionalities for a proposed new IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) module dedicated to the reporting of lost or discharged fishing gear was also compiled. It is expected that PPR 8 will re-establish the CG and request MEPC 76 to extend the target completion year for this output to 2023.