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Amity Marine Global


By | INTLREG NEWS, Maritime Knowledge | No Comments

INTLREG is bringing our technical expertise closer to our clients by launching the Remote Surveying to our services for Ocean going voyages as well as domestic vessels. Travel restrictions amid the pandemic COVID-19 are affecting the surveys onboard ships and delays are affecting the projects in Oil & Gas Industry across the globe. Yet the industry is embracing digital technology and is quickly adapting to the smart era.

For remote surveys and inspections, the surveyors do not have to be physically present on board a vessel. As a result, a remote survey can be conducted anywhere in the world without the surveyors’ physical presence. This also enhances survey flexibility and efficiency of survey.

A survey without attendance has benefits for both our customers and surveyors; however, safety must always be and remain our ultimate consideration and target. Remote surveys will be permitted only for ships maintaining class with INTLREG.

The following surveys, which may be permitted using remote surveys techniques by International Register of Shipping (INTLREG), are written below. Such surveys could be subject to prior approval from the flag administration:

  1. Classification Surveys (annual)
  2. Condition of Class Surveys
  3. Minor damage and repair surveys for hull and machinery.
  4. Extension of Surveys (Class conditions, Propeller shaft, Boiler etc.)
  5. Continuous Surveys Machinery (CSM)
  6. Change of Owner, Change of vessel name / flag.
  7. A Cases by Case approval

Benefits :


Owners and operators can easily access the collected data and planned maintenance.

Immediate access to the best technological expertise

Connect to an expert from any location relevant to the assignment.

Cost Effective 

By introducing remote surveys, many market and situation challenges can be resolved thereby saving travelling time and cost.

INTLREG will always remain a reliable partner to the maritime world providing cost-effective and professional services. We have exclusive surveyors stationed worldwide and are ready to provide any services to your vessel(s). Please feel free to reach out to us for any questions or inquiries you may have at

Main steps to reduce Panamanian Ship detentions by PSC

By | INTLREG NEWS | No Comments

The reviews of the 2019 Panamanians vessels performance, shown an increased number of detentions in some regions. Therefore, the Panama Maritime Authority issued revised marine circular to provide advice on how to reduce Port State Control (PSC) detentions of Panama flagged vessels, with the cooperation of recognized organizations, shipowners and ship operators as well as other interested parties.

In order to comply with safety, security and environmental regulations for a better maritime industry, there no place in our registry for substandard vessels; which can affect directly our flag reputation in all the Port State Control Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs). the Panama Maritime Authority highlighted.

As explained, RO’s are responsible for a permanent verification of MoU´s websites to determine the status of vessels under its supervision. Namely, RO’s are responsible for the handling of detentions, including the investigation, analysis and determination of deficiencies root-cause, recommendations including preventive/corrective actions and follow actions to avoid future occurrence of major detentions, all information shall be sent to the Port State Control section as soon as possible to avoid delays to the vessel.

RO’s surveyors on board Panama flagged vessels shall be paid attention to the following main items including on the “Top Deficiencies” (most frequent detainable deficiencies) on MoU´s annual reports, but not limited to:

1.Validity of all Statutory Certificates (including annual/intermediate
2. Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) in general.
3. Lifeboat falls (including renewal and reversal dates).
4. Liferafts servicing (dates).
5. Fire Fighting Systems & Equipment (in general).
6. Emergency Fire Pumps (last test).
7. Fire detention & alarm system(last service)

8. Pyrotechnics (expiry date or expiration date).
9. Records of weekly/monthly drills and equipment inspections (log book’s
entries, SMS records).
10. Nautical Publications & Charts (up to date).
11. Oil Record Book + Oil Filtering Equipment (MARPOL 73/78 Annex I).
12. Any outstanding statutory items and/or conditions of class (verify last class
13. Personnel Familiarization & Responsibility (ISM Code – Section 6).
14. Maintenance of the Ship and Equipment (ISM Code – Section 10).
15. Working & Living Conditions (MLC, 2006).

In this regard, Ship-Owners, operators, technical manager and Company Designated Person Ashore (DPA) together with Ship’s Master are responsible to establish on board a pre-arrival verification, taken into account the items mentioned on the previous paragraph; which must be verified at least 24 hours before arrival at ports in order to avoid detentions and deficiencies.

The objective evidence about these pre-arrival verifications conducted by the vessel, shall be maintained on board the vessel at all the time as evidence; which can be presented at request of Flag State inspector during the Annual Safety Inspection (ASI).

If an extraordinariness issues, such as equipment failures or any others situations that cannot be resolve on board of the vessel immediately; Ship-Owners, operators, technical managers, DPA together or vessel´s Master, shall immediately coordinate the effective corrective actions, together with the vessel Recognized Organization (R.O,) and Segumar Offices.

At the same time, PSC Authority shall be informed as requested by regulation 11 “Maintenance of conditions after survey”, SOLAS Chapter I.

The Panama Maritime Authority highlights that in order to improve the information exchange regarding Port State Control (PSC)
Inspections to Panamanian Flagged vessels, ship operators need to  send immediately all PSC Inspection Reports as well as the corrective actions taken onboard to Port State Control Section.

The PSC section accepts as corrective actions: 1. The format used by the company safety management system; describing the
deficiencies, corrective actions, root cause analysis and preventive actions taken. ; 2. The Occasional Survey (OS) report format issued by the RO (,) who performed the visit of the vessel to verified the deficiencies raised and the corrective actions.

International Register of Shipping is a recognized Organization approved for the issuance of the Class Certificate by Panama Maritime Authority. Users of the Panamanian Registry can contact #INTLREG at for any requirements related to the Class Certificates in accordance with the provisions of the International Conventions ratified by the Republic of Panama.


By | INTLREG NEWS | No Comments

With the initial reporting validity for the IMO DCS expiring on 31 Dec 2019 and the deadline for reporting the data to the Administration / Recognised Organisation also having expired on 31 Mar 2020. A Statement of Compliance (SoC) provided by the Administration / Recognised organisation should be on board by 31 May 2020.

This statutory news is a reminder on how to stay in compliance with regulation 22A of MARPOL Annex VI

Regulation 22A of MARPOL Annex VI requires ships to collect and report data on their fuel consumption, starting from 1 January 2019. For ships to which this regulation applies it is mandatory that a valid Statement of compliance is readily available on-board for inspection together with the Confirmation of Compliance for the SEEMP part II.

The Confirmation of Compliance (SEEMP part II) and the validity of the Statement of Compliance (IMO DCS) will be verified at each Periodical Statutory Survey regardless of whether the IMO DCS is issued by Administration / RO or any other organisation approved by the flag administration. As this is a new requirement, we expect that Port State Control (PSC) will focus on the Statement of Compliance (IMO DCS) during any upcoming routine inspections. Non Compliance of IMO DCS can be a detainable deficiency.

Statement of Compliance shall be issued annually and is also required to be issued during Change of flag or Company. Statement of compliance shall be valid for the Calendar year in which statement of compliance is issued and for the first 5 months of the following Calendar year (until 31 May).









Useful resources for seafarers, ship owners and ship management companies, and other members of the maritime industry in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak

By | Maritime Health | No Comments
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.

We have compiled some useful resources for seafarers, ship owners and ship management companies, and other members of the maritime industry in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak*. Please find a list of links and some useful documents below:

World Health Organization:

International Maritime Organization:

International Chamber of Shipping:

International Transport Workers’ Federation:

COVID-19 Information Dashboard (country- and port-specific advice on COVID-19 measures):

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Port Restrictions Map (updated daily):

Management of Suspected COVID-19 on Board (information for officers responsible for medical treatment on board ships and mobile offshore units):

CHIRP Maritime (April 2020):

Coronavirus – How to Beat it (free-of-charge awareness video by Seagull and Videotel):

Coronavirus – Stay Safe on Board (video produced by Marine Media Enterprises with the support of Columbia Ship Management, ISWAN and Steamship Mutual):

Note: The COVID-19 scenario is constantly changing so please refer to the WHO website for the latest guidance and updates.

Do you know the number of ranks and duties on board?

By | Maritime Knowledge | No Comments

Seafaring is a career that requires different roles and responsibilities such that everyone on board will know what to do, as various tasks will be conducted simultaneously. Each of these responsibilities also has unique duties that are vital to a ship’s efficient service.

The ranks on a vessel  are classified into three categories:
  1. the deck department
  2. the engineering department
  3. the steward’s / catering department

In 1978, IMO adopted a landmark Convention for all seafarers across the world to establish high standards of competence and professionalism in their duties on-board. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, the STCW Convention in brief, establishes the minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.

Deck department

Captain: The captain or master is the ship’s highest responsible officer, acting on behalf of the shipowner. He/she is responsible for all operations onboard.

Chief mate: The head of the deck department on a merchant vessel, second-in-command after the ship’s Master. This position is responsible for cargo operations, the vessel’s stability, the deck crew and the safety and security of the vessel. The chief mate is the one to train the crew and cadets on various operations, such as safety, firefighting, search and rescue, and various other contingencies.

Second mate: The one that holds this position is a qualified Officer in Charge for Navigational Watch (OICNW), responsible for directing the bridge and navigating the ship. The second mate is the third most experienced deck department officer after the Captain/Master and Chief mate. One of their priorities is to update charts and publications, keeping them current, making passage plans, and all aspects of ship navigation. Additional duties include directing line handlers, cargo watches, directing anchor detail and training and instructing crew members.

Third mate: The third officer is responsible for the maintenance of life-saving equipment and fire-fighting equipment under Safety Officer`s instruction. Also, the third mate conducts the drilling operations and handles all the port documents on behalf of the Master.

Deck cadet: Also known as the Trainee Navigational Officer or Nautical Apprentice is an apprentice who must learn the basic duties, comprehend and apply the new skills learned.

Deck cadet ratings

  • Bosun (head of the rating staff)
  • Welder/Fitter (this rank onboard renders his services to both the deck as well as the engine department)
  • Able Bodied Seaman (AB)
  • Ordinary Seaman (OS)
  • Trainee OS

Engineer/Technical Department

Chief engineer: This person is the one overseeing the engine department and gives work orders for the ones operating in the engine room.

Second engineer: This rank is responsible for supervising the daily maintenance and operation of the engine department, directly reporting to the chief engineer.

Third engineer: The third engineer or second assistant engineer is the one dealing with boilers, fuel, auxiliary engines, condensate and feed systems, always reporting to the second engineer.

Fourth engineer: The fourth engineer or third assistant engineer is junior to the second assistant engineer/third engineer in the engine department.

Steward’s / catering department

Chief cook: The chief cook is the senior unlicensed crew member working in the steward’s department of a ship. Their duty is to prepare meals regularly for the crew and passengers, inspects the galley and equipment ensuring all cleaning and proper storage operations are in line.

Chief steward: This position is the one handling the catering department, by directing, instructing and assigning personnel for preparing and serving meals. Also, this rank plans the menu, orders the supplies along with the Master.


Panama Ship Registry launches new digital services

By | INTLREG NEWS | No Comments

The Panama Ship Registry has introduced new digital services to enable it to give an immediate response to shipowners during the crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic

The Registry has introduced from 13 April electronic Ship Registration and electronic Radio Licences issued by the 13 international offices and/or by the 53 consulates offices. These documents are validated through QRs and bar codes. The Registry has so far in use 10 electronic certificates, and eight more in process of been digitalised.

These new forms include the following features: papers less initiative – ecofriendly, documents self-protected from unauthorized editions, a unique sequential number assigned and controlled only by the Panama Maritime Authority Directorate of Merchant Marine (the Ship Registry), QR code (two-dimensional bar code), that leads to an application displaying the information of the document in a real time, thus evidencing its authenticity. So, any authority or any third party could confirm the validity of the documents scanned by a simple QR reader available in app store and/or play store at any giving time.

The Panamanian Consulates issue the Provisional Ship Registration and Radio Licence in hard copy. “We are introducing the use of digital signature. Both options – paper and electronic format – are going to be kept and functional onboard so we make sure all ship´s owners and their vessels are provided with the documents they need in a real time. There will be a transition period. By keeping both options, we guaranty smooth transition,” said direction of merchant marine and head of the Ship Registry, Rafael Cigarruista.

Panama Ship Registry has developed several actions with respect to the COVID-19.  Around some 500 vessels have requested support for which the 13 International Technical Offices – Segumar Offices – have granted authorizations, extensions, special authorizations, due to COVID-19:  Seafarers Employment’s Agreements; Equipment (LSA / FFE ) Inspection extension; Dry Dock Extension (under case by case bases); Conditional Certificate granted; Statutory Certificates Extensions; ISM & ISPS Audit Extension; Crew Dispensation; Revalidation of Certificates; Non-Compliant Fuel Oil and Reinstatement.

International Register of Shipping is a recognized Organization approved for the issuance of the Class Certificate by Panama Maritime Authority. Users of the Panamanian Registry can contact hashtagINTLREG at for any requirements related to the Class Certificate in accordance with the provisions of the International Conventions ratified by the Republic of Panama.

Coronavirus Battling On Ships–Measures Seafarers Should take

By | Maritime Health, Maritime Safety | No Comments

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has placed the shipping industry in the grip of uncertainty and stagnation.

Many maritime industry stakeholders are feeling the heat in terms of company cutbacks and losses.

China, the largest player in the global shipping market for containers, has been hit hardest and has impacted the entire maritime industry.

Other major shipping hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Hamburg etc. have also been deeply affected by the coronavirus.

The ship’s crew being in the centre of all of these is a vital element in keeping the transportation running to avoid the further downfall of the global economy.

Recently, several crew members of cruise and cargo ships have been tested positive for COVID 19, further making the shipping operations extremely difficult.

To effectively tackle this situation, all major ship operators and regulatory authorities have issued important guidelines for the ship’s crew.

While there is already a lot of standardised information out there, at INTLREG we feel it is important to provide more detailed information and procedures to eliminate ambiguity, and to set guidelines for the ship’s staff to combat COVID 19.

Apart from all the directives provided in the Guidance for ship operators, the following additional steps can be taken by the ship’s crew to stay safe from getting infected by the coronavirus:

  • Keep a check on the health of all ship staff i.e. body temperature etc. on a daily basis.
  • Before reaching the port, the assigned gangway watch-keeper should be provided with essential protective clothing, including mask eyeglass, and disposable apron etc.
  • The management on the ship should ensure enough hand sanitiser, disinfectant, gloves, mask, disposable apron/ boiler suits are available onboard or requisition has been raised under urgent remark
  • The ship office to attend shore personnel is usually located inside the accommodation area, near the entry door. If possible, an area on the open deck (by making a makeshift office) or bosun cabin or any storeroom which is separated from the crew accommodation can be assigned as ship office
  • Do not allow anyone to enter the accommodation area except those who are authorised or representing customs or medical/ quarantine port staff
  • At the gangway entry, keep a hand sanitiser and ensure the person entering uses the same. Any person entering the ship should wear a mask. The gangway watch-keeper can monitor the temperature of all people entering the ship and raise an objection if anyone has body temperature or cough/cold
  • When performing cargo watch in the affected port, keep a distance from the port personal
  • When going down in the jetty for checking draft etc., wear all protective equipment such as masks, goggles, disposable aprons, disposable gloves etc.
  • The crew should avoid going into each other cabins
  • The department in charge should provide adequate rest hours and avoid giving additional work when the ship is in affected port
  • Lock the common toilet and keep it closed in port
  • The crew lunch or dinner can be divided in different timings so that there is no overcrowding in the mess room and people have enough space to sit in distance from each other
  • All the hand railing inside the accommodation, staircase support railing, elevator buttons etc. should be regularly cleaned with disinfectants
  • All the mess room cutleries to be properly washed before and after usage
  • Have a concrete disposable plan and separate bins to dispose of face mask, apron etc, used in COVID 19 affected ports
  • Avoid touching ship railings, equipment, instruments unnecessarily
  • When working on a common ship computer, clean the keyboards with disinfectant after use and dispose of the cleaning cloth or tissue paper etc.
  • Walkie talkies are shared among the crew, hence, they can be put inside a disposable plastic cover and before handing it to another watch-keeper or putting it in the charging dock, remove and dispose the plastic sheet cover and clean it with disinfectant
  • Accommodation air condition system can be changed from recirculation to fresh air intake
  • All the portable air conditioning system (in ECR, bridge etc.) have their own filters which need to be cleaned regularly
  • Fresh stationery to be issued to each crew member. They should not be interchanged or crew should not use other’s stationery if possible
  • If the provisions or spares are received in port, they should be received in a separate area without allowing outside people entering the accommodation. If the provision is received in the affected port, the boxes received can either be given back to the supplier or each box should be wiped with a cloth dipped in disinfectant.
  • Avoid immediate use of the provision received in affected port and keep it separate from the current store being consumed
  • When there is sign-in of the crew in the affected port or country, avoid any physical interaction i.e. handshake etc. and clean their luggage with cloth dipped in disinfectant
  • The sign-in crew should first take shower and change in ship work clothing before reporting to the Master
  • Avoid handling of luggage/bag of port representative, pilot, surveyor etc. and advise them to clean it with cloth dipped in disinfectant
  • Washing of clothes and boiler suit should be done separately by each individual
  • When steward washes the linen of the officers, ensure to use disinfectant liquid approved for washing clothes
  • Prepare a separate isolation cabin in advance, which should be at the corner of the accommodation
  • The crew should be trained for responsible behaviour and self-reporting if feeling feverish or having cough/ cold symptoms
  • Avoid ship parties and get together
  • Avoid team meetings or carry out the meeting if necessary in bigger rooms or in the open area so that crew can be at a distance from each other
  • Avoid any drills in the affected port
  • Though there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding COVID 19, panic is something we should ignore at any cost. A sensible, consistent, and collective effort will help us fight this disease and prevent it from further spreading.

Over to our fellow followers…

What further precautions should we take to tackle this problem?

Let’s hear it in the comments below.


By | INTLREG NEWS | No Comments
The spread of the COVID-19 virus is causing significant issues in the shipbuilding industry, but English law has no general concept of force majeure, and this is a key factor in the relationship between shipyards and shipowners.

Shipyards are facing disruption to new building, repair and conversion projects due to the impact of the virus on their labour force and the ability of their subcontractors to meet their commitments to supply materials and equipment necessary for the completion of such projects.

As a result, shipyards in China, and elsewhere, have sought to invoke the force majeure provisions under their contracts with shipowners because of COVID-19 in order to obtain ‘no fault’ extensions of the delivery dates under these contracts.

This in turn has caused issues for shipowners who are now facing potential delays to the delivery of the vessels that they have contracted to buy, repair or convert, especially where those vessels are for delivery into a specific project or long term charter or the conversion works are linked to compliance with the 2020 low sulphur fuel cap.

Because most contracts are subject to English law, shipbuilding contracts must have an actual force majeure clause for the shipyard to claim force majeure and the burden of proof is on the shipyard.

On BIMCO’s website, members can read the full article that looks at force majeure provisions in standard form shipbuilding contracts and how these might operate in the context of COVID-19.

Any idea what a Ship Security Alert System is?

By | Maritime Knowledge, Maritime Training | No Comments
Although piracy follows a downward trend in the last decade, the threat of sailing in high risk areas still poses a psychological burden for crews. After the 9/11 attacks that changed the world, IMO requires every ship above 500 GT sailing the world’s oceans to have a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) to enhance security. Have you ever wondered what this system is and how it works?
To provide knowledge to those designated to perform duties of CSO, SSO and other security duties on a managerial and operational level and ensure effective implementation of the ISPS Code, explain SSA process, SSP contents and measures per level, weapons recognition, devices, suspects & contingency planning, as per new STCW requirements,International Register Of Shipping (INTLREG) Conducts ISPS Code Training Course. For more details and registration of the course, Please contact

What is a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS)?

The Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), under the ISPS Code, is a system onboard designed to raise the alarm ashore in case of a security threat or security incident, so that help from security forces can be deployed to the scene.

Technically, the SSAS consists of a GPS receiver linked to a transmitter, a power supply, software and activation buttons.

When used, the activation button basically notifies the flag State of the ship without alerting ships or coastal states in the vicinity or giving any indication onboard.

Use of the ship security alert system is a recognition that security is political and requires different response to a distress or emergency onboard,

…IMO notes.

 Where is this alert sent to?

What makes the SSAS unique is the fact that it constitutes a silent ship security alarm system that does not issue any audio-visual signal on the ship or to nearby vessels, not even to security forces nearby.

In contrast, upon activated, the alert is sent directly to the ship owner or an SSAS management company. It is then directed to the ship’s flag state. Some flag administrations even require having direct notification upon activation.

As soon as the flag state is informed, it is obliged to immediately notify the state(s) and the international security centers in the vicinity of the ship’s location.

Then, local state authorities or already deployed antipiracy/antiterrorist forces will be able to provide appropriate military or law-enforcement forces to deal with the menace.

 What information does the SSAS provide?

Upon activated, the Ship Security Alert System sends the following details to the administration:

  1. Name and IMO number of the ship
  2. The Call Sign of the ship
  3. The ship’s position through Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
  4. Date and time of the alert
  5. Maritime Mobile Service Identity.

 Where can we find an SSAS onboard?

Current regulatory framework foresees that there must be at least two security alert buttons onboard the ship, one on the bridge and another one in any other prominent location.

The whole crew onboard must be aware of at least one activation button location.

What happens if the button is pushed by accident?

The ISPS Code mandates that the SSAS activation points must be designed to prevent the unwanted initiation of the ship security alert.

A latch cover secures the button to prevent any accidental operation.

Anyone working in the vicinity of the SSAS button must be notified accordingly not to touch the button.

Once the SSAS button is pressed, the alert will be continuously transmitted to the administration unless it is reset or deactivated.

 What are the key challenges of the SSAS?

Although there are specialized security companies for SSAS monitoring, most shipping organizations for financial reasons prefer to assign a person within the company for this job, known as the Company Security Officer (CSO). This means that a CSO lies with a great deal of responsibility on his shoulders, and the ship crew must feel lucky if he/she is not in the shower or deep asleep.

In addition, it is known that the SSAS will not work in case of failure of main power or fault in the emergency backup power.

And as in any other task onboard, crew familiarization with the button location and the procedures to be followed is vital for cases of real emergency and should not be taken for granted.

About the ISPS Code

Under SOLAS Convention Chapter XI-2, IMO developed the International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS Code), a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities.

The Code was adopted on 12 December 2002 on the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in United States. ISPS Code came into force on 1st July 2004.

The Code is applicable to all vessels over 500 GRT operating on international trades, as well as the ports that service them.

Among others, the ISPS Code:

  • enables the detection and deterrence of security threats within an international framework
  • establishes roles and responsibilities
  • enables collection and exchange of security information
  • provides a methodology for assessing security
  • ensures that adequate security measures in place.

 Did you know?

The SSAS is the correspondent means of notification with the Emergency Transponder Code 7700 for aircrafts.




IMO Sub-Committee On PPR 7 Agrees Draft Amendments To MARPOL Annex I

By | Shipping News | No Comments

Prohibiting the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil by ships in the Arctic waters- draft MARPOL amendments agreed.

The Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) agreed draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I (addition of a new regulation 43A) to introduce a prohibition on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters on and after 1 July 2024.

The draft amendments will be submitted to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) (19-23 October 2020) with a view to approval and circulation for adoption at MEPC 77 (spring 2021).

The prohibition would cover the use and carriage for use as fuel of oils having a density at 15°C higher than 900 kg/m3 or a kinematic viscosity at 50°C higher than 180 mm2/s.

Ships engaged in securing the safety of ships, or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response would be exempted.

Ships which meet certain construction standards with regard to oil fuel tank protection would need to comply on and after 1 July 2029.

A Party to MARPOL with a coastline bordering Arctic waters may temporarily waive the requirements for ships flying its flag while operating in waters subject to that Party’s sovereignty or jurisdiction, up to 1 July 2029.

Currently, a MARPOL regulation prohibits the use or carriage of heavy grade oils on ships in the Antarctic; and under the Polar Code, ships are encouraged not to use or carry such oil in the Arctic.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to further develop draft guidelines on measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. The draft guidelines would cover ship operation, ship construction and heavy fuel oil bunkering, infrastructure and communication, enhancement of heavy fuel oil spill preparedness, early detection and response, and drills and training.

Implementation of the IMO 2020 sulphur limit – verifying sulphur content of fuel on board – guidelines agreed

IMO 2020, the 0.50% limit for sulphur in ships’ fuel oil, has been in effect since 1 January 2020, cutting sulphur oxide emissions from ships operating worldwide. From 1 March 2020, the carriage ban on non-compliant fuel oil (except for ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems installed) will enter into force under MARPOL Annex VI, helping to support implementation of the global sulphur limit.

To support the safe and consistent sampling of fuel oil being carried for use, and the enforcement of the carriage ban, the Sub-Committee finalised draft guidelines which provide a recommended method for the sampling of liquid fuel oil intended to be used or carried for use on board a ship.

The draft 2020 Guidelines for sampling of fuel oil intended to be used or carried for use on board a ship will be forwarded to the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75), which meets 30 March to 3 April 2020, with a view to adoption.

Revised guidelines on exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) agreed

The Sub-Committee finalised its work on revising the 2015 Guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS, also known as “scrubbers”).

The revision is aimed at enhancing the uniform application of the guidelines, in light of recent technical developments and experience gathered from approvals and operation of such alternative compliance systems.

The draft 2020 EGCS Guidelines will be submitted to MEPC 75 for adoption.

The Guidelines specify the criteria for the testing, survey, certification and verification of EGCS under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to ensure that they provide effective equivalence to the sulphur oxide emission requirements of regulations 14.1 or 14.4 of MARPOL Annex VI, as applicable. They cover continuous monitoring requirements and discharge water quality criteria, including minimum pH, maximum PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) concentration; provisions to minimize suspended particulate matter, including heavy metals and ash, and to prevent discharge of nitrates beyond specified levels.

The Guidelines note that discharge water quality criteria should be reviewed in the future as more data becomes available. Guidance for voluntary discharge water data collection, by means of a recommended procedure for sampling, is included.

The Guidelines are expected to be applied to new exhaust gas cleaning systems installed after a date to be decided by the Committee.

Discharges from exhaust gas cleaning systems – evaluating and harmonising rules and guidance

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its last session in May 2019 asked the PPR Sub-Committee to look into evaluating and harmonising rules and guidance on the discharge of liquid effluents from EGCS.

To assist the discussions, a report from a task team established by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) was submitted. This report contains the conclusions of the task team in relation to the available evidence on the environmental effects of discharge water from EGCS, as well as recommendations on the data, tools and approaches that could be used as basis for conducting a risk assessment of the possible effects of discharges.

Following discussion in a working group, the Sub-Committee agreed to recommend to the MEPC that its future work should look at evaluation and harmonisation of rules and guidance on the discharge of discharge water from EGCS into the aquatic environment, including conditions and areas.

The scope of the work should include:

  • risk assessment (development of risk assessment guidelines for the evaluation of possible harmful effects of the discharge water from EGCS, taking into account existing methods and mathematical models);
  • impact assessment (to consider developing impact assessment guidelines);
  • delivery of EGCS residues (developing guidance on delivery of EGCS residues to port reception facilities, regarding volumes and composition of residues);
  • regulatory matters (including assessing state of technology for EGCS discharge water treatment and control, identifying possible regulatory measures, developing a database of local/regional restrictions/conditions on the discharge water from EGCS;
  • database of substances (establishing a database of substances identified in EGCS discharge water, covering physico-chemical data, ecotoxicological data and toxicological data, leading to relevant endpoints for risk assessment purposes).

The MEPC was invited to approve the planned scope of work and to consider involving GESAMP for scientific advice.

Reducing the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping.

Black Carbon in the context of international shipping is the product of incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. Black Carbon emissions contribute to climate change as a ‘Short-Lived Climate Pollutant’.

IMO has been looking at how to measure and report on Black Carbon emissions, as part of its work to consider the impact on the Arctic of Black Carbon emissions from international shipping. A reporting protocol for voluntary measurement studies to collect Black Carbon data and Black Carbon measurement methods for data collection have already been agreed.

The Sub-Committee noted a number of submissions, including proposals to look at the aromatic content of blends of fuel oil. A high aromatic content, among other factors, could increase Black Carbon emissions from ships.

The International Standardization Organization (ISO) advised the Sub-Committee that it was already in the process of monitoring properties of very low sulphur fuel oil and high sulphur fuel oil and would provide feedback on their performance. ISO also advised the Sub-Committee that it would also consider whether it was possible to add a further measure to provide an approximate indication as to whether a fuel is more paraffinic or aromatic, based on the characteristics already included in the ISO 8217 standard, which specifies the requirements for fuels for use in marine diesel engines and boilers.

The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to advance the development of a standardised sampling, conditioning, and measurement protocol, including a traceable reference method and an uncertainty analysis, taking into account the three most appropriate Black Carbon measurement methods (light absorption filter smoke number (FSN);  photo-acoustic spectroscopy (PAS); and laser induced incandescence (LII)), to make accurate and traceable (comparable) measurements of Black Carbon emissions; and investigate the linkages between the measurement systems and policy options.

Prohibiting cybutryne in anti-fouling systems 

The Sub-Committee finalised a proposed amendment to the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne. The draft amendment will be forwarded to MEPC 75 for approval, with a view to adoption at MEPC 76.

The AFS Convention already prohibits the use of biocides using organotin compounds.

Revised guidance on commissioning testing of ballast water management systems agreed

Ballast water management systems (BWMS) may be used on ships to meet the requirements of IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which has been in force since 2017 and aims to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species in ballast water. An amendment to regulation E-1 of the BWM Convention, which is expected to be adopted by MEPC 75, mandates the commissioning testing of BWMS. The Sub-Committee completed its revision of guidance on this testing, which is intended to validate the installation of a BWMS by demonstrating that its mechanical, physical, chemical and biological processes are working properly.

Review of the Biofouling Guidelines

The Ballast Water Management Convention aims to prevent the spread of potentially harmful aquatic species in ballast water. But invasive species can also attach themselves to the outside of ships.

The Sub-Committee began its review of the IMO Biofouling Guidelines, which provide a globally consistent approach to the management of biofouling – the accumulation of various aquatic organisms on ships’ hulls.

The Sub-Committee identified key elements that require further attention and discussion, considered areas for potential revision of the Guidelines, and established a correspondence group on the review of the Biofouling Guidelines, to progress the relevant work and facilitate more effective deliberations at PPR 8.

IMO is executing the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships project which aims to drive actions to implement the Biofouling Guidelines. The project will also spur the development of best practices and standards for improved biofouling management in other ocean industries.

Marine plastic litter – draft circulars agreed

The Sub-Committee prepared a draft MEPC circular on Provision of adequate facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of plastic waste from ships and a draft MEPC circular on Sharing of results from research on marine litter and encouraging studies to better understand microplastics from ships.

A correspondence group was established to consider how to amend MARPOL Annex V and the 2017 Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V (resolution MEPC.295(71)), to facilitate and enhance reporting of the accidental loss or discharge of fishing gear, as currently provided in regulation 10.6 of MARPOL Annex V, and consider the information to be reported to Administrations and the IMO, the reporting mechanisms and modalities.

This work is in the context of the IMO Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships, which aims to enhance existing regulations and introduce new supporting measures to reduce marine plastic litter from ships. The action plan was adopted by the MEPC in 2018.

The MEPC agreed actions to be completed by 2025, which relate to all ships, including fishing vessels. The action plan supports IMO’s commitment to meeting the targets set in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) on the oceans.