The 77th session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 77) will take place on 22-26 November 2021, focusing on proposals to both reduce ships’ emissions and improve their energy efficiency.
To remind, MEPC 76 in June this year adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, based on draft text approved by MEPC 75, related to short-term measures consisting of technical (EEXI) and operational (CII and its rating) measures, which are expected to enter into force in November 2022, aiming at 40% reduction of carbon intensity by 2030.
Highlights on MEPC 77 agenda
Tackling climate change – cutting GHG emissions from ships
It is known that IMO is committed to cutting GHG emissions from ships. This time, MEPC 77 will consider the outcomes of the two sessions of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 9 and 10). In addition to the above-mentioned proposals, MEPC will focus on:
Air pollution and energy efficiency
-Exhaust gas cleaning systems
The MEPC is expected to consider matters relating to exhaust gas cleaning systems, including the proposed revised EGCS guidelines, as agreed by the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 7). Consideration of this matter had been deferred to this session due to lack of time.
What is more, the meeting will review the proposed scope of work for PPR relating to evaluation and harmonization of rules and guidance on the discharge of discharge water from EGCS into the aquatic environment, including conditions and areas (as discussed at PPR 7).
-Black carbon in the Arctic
The MEPC will pay attention to the deliberations of the PPR Sub-Committee in respect of reducing the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping and the terms of reference for the PPR’s future work on reduction of the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping.
-Calculation of the EEDI
The MEPC will consider updating the 2013 Guidance on treatment of innovative energy efficiency technologies for calculation and verification of the attained EEDI (MEPC.1/Circ.815), to reflect updated technical guidance.
-Bunker delivery note
Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI on the inclusion of flashpoint as mandatory information in the bunker delivery note, will be further considered.
Harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water
In addition, the Committee is about to focus on guidance, unified interpretations and procedures relating to the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM), which has been in force since 2017 and aims to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species in ballast water.
At the same time, the meeting will consider an approval of a BWM.2 circular on guidance for the application of the BWM Convention to ships operating at ports with challenging water quality; and a unified interpretation of regulations E-1.1.1 and E-1.1.5 of the BWM Convention, which relate to the commissioning testing of ballast water management systems.
The MEPC is also expected to consider the application of the BWM Convention to specific ship types; take stock of the experience-building phase associated with the BWM Convention; and consider the development of procedures for conducting re-evaluations of ballast water management systems which make use of Active Substances.
Marine plastic litter
The MEPC 77 session is expected to finalize a strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships, whose aim will be to guide the implementation of the Action Plan.
In fact, the Committee will consider the marking of fishing gear; extending the requirement for a Garbage Record Book to ships less than 400 GT and equal to or greater than 100 GT; and documents providing information and comments on sea-based sources of plastic pollution.
Virtual working groups
Concluding, MEPC will establish the following virtual groups:
Image Credits : IMO