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INTLREG supports a bright future for youth in Sri Lanka


International Register of Shipping, an independent international Classification Society, has recently become one of the Sri Lankan Youth Business Trust sponsors and supporters.

The program highlights the benefits of SMEs versus employees and develops a youth that creates an additional job market in the country.

The know-how on how to start, develop and grow SMEs and further employment will be instilled together with financial investment, business development, and training provided by the government in cooperation with various organizations, including the International Register of Shipping. These to be delivered by Youth SME Business Trust Guarantee Limited and will work in tandem with the Small Enterprises Development Division.

The MOU aims to Inform, Inspire, Influence, and raise 4,000 youth business owners by 2025. The target segment’s age is between15-24 years old. The initiative will be a country-wide program carried out in three languages Sinhala, Tamil, and English.

Mr. Rehan Jayatilaka, Founder, Youth SME Business Trust Guarantee Limited, stated: “We appreciate the support of International Register of Shipping in supporting this event. Our further goals and objectives of cooperation and involvements into local programs will be discussed in the near future”.

INTLREG is a provider of Classification, Certification, Verification, Training & Advisory Services. Since 1993, the International Register of Shipping (INTLREG) has been an independent classification society working with the objective of safeguarding life, property & the environment.

Let us be your reliable partner in the Maritime world.

INTLREG – working in the COVID era


All our lives have been drastically transformed by the pandemic. Now, when everyone wants life back to normal, we all know that the post-COVID age would have little resemblance to the past. Health experts are hopeful about the vaccines already taking place around the globe, but the pandemic will not be over anytime soon. 

How INTLREG reacted to the crisis? 

Work from home and Implementation of Remote Survey Techniques. 

During the difficult time of worldwide pandemic with the COVID-19 outbreak, though working from home is not easy as we deal with higher tonnage Vessels which are miles and miles away in the sea, International Register of Shipping (INTLREG) operated remotely with a lot of planning preventing any delays supporting Vessel Owners and Managers. We ensured that our customers’ businesses continued to operate smoothly. Remote Surveys were carried out for some of the vessels based on flag authorization. INTLREG remote surveys helped some ship owners to manage critical situations, caused by logistical problems thus ensuring uninterrupted operation of their vessels. Major surveys, which were not possible to be conducted as remote were carried out in the traditional way ensuring the safety of our surveyors and vessel’ crew with proper social distancing and other precautions as per WHO and CDC guidelines.

INTLREG had already embraced Digital Technology; we had already started issuing Electronic Certificates, and an online platform for survey management and reporting. INTLREG eShips also helped to provide uninterrupted service to customers during these challenging times. Social media platforms were utilized to connect with our customers, the seafarers, and the principals.

The most important factor during these difficult times was the realization of how important Mental Health in the Industry is. Our seafarers are going through a lot of challenges across the globe, onshore jobs are also facing issues as we are going through such a huge crisis and there is a lot of uncertainty. The pandemic has taught us how crucial it is to take care of our mental health.

As per the latest news, the COVID-19 is not going away soon; the normal life or work routines we follow for centuries have been changed. We are following the most stringent physical distancing protocol; face masks and sanitizers are mandatory all over the world and are a part of our new lifestyle.

For the Maritime Industry, the pandemic expedited the introduction of new technologies such as Remote Surveys / Drone Surveys and also defined the latest working ways in this century. It was really promising to see how our industry embraced the technology. Still, there are many concerns for the Maritime World with regards to newly introduced methods of work. In the coming days, we will see many tasks handled remotely with the right planning and use of Digital and remote technologies.

It will be a good result of COVID-19 to serve as a trigger for individuals to analyze their thoughts and return to work with a refreshed energy to make life safer at sea. It will also enable technology to strengthen the capabilities of all those connected to our industry.

Regulations regarding dumping of soiled or damaged cargo at sea

By | INTLREG NEWS, Maritime Regulations | No Comments

Numerous environmental protection regulations have been launched for the ocean, while efforts have been made by the shipping industry in relation to the dumping of damaged cargo at sea. Examining these regulations, here is an overview :

Disposal of waste materials


Ship’s disposal methods and other items regarding waste materials involving meals and other personal activities of crew members, in addition to items used for the operation of a ship are stipulated in MARPOL 73/78.

The current rule concerning dumping waste materials from a ship into the sea became effective on March 1st 2018. This rule is the result of an amendment to Annex V adopted on 28th October 2016.  Japan’s Marine Pollution Prevention Act and its enforcement regulations were also amended to comply with the amendments to Annex V.

According to UK P&I Club, there are two main components of the amendments to Annex V that were approved at MEPC70:

  1. The addition of standards to determine if bulk cargo other than grain is harmful to the marine environment.
  2. The requirement for shippers to provide the captain of a ship with information about whether or not cargo is harmful to the marine environment.

As a rule, the dumping into the sea waste materials on a ship is prohibited. However, this restriction does not apply to some of the waste materials that are certified as not harmful to the marine environment.

The amended Annex V covers the following waste materials:

  • Cargo residues;
  • Cleaning agents and additives in water used for cleaning;
  • Dunnage and lining materials;
  • Animal carcasses;
  • All types of plastics;
  • Food waste;
  • Hot water used for cooking;
  • Fishing gear;
  • Domestic waste and other standard categories of waste materials.

The amendment to Annex V added cargo residues and cleaning agents and additives in water used for cleaning to the covered waste materials and allows dumping overboard only the types of these materials not harmful to the marine environment at a distance of at least 12 nautical miles from shore.

2. London Dumping Convention

The dumping of waste materials coming from the shore from a ship or other sources into the sea is restricted by the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972, which is commonly known as the ‘London Dumping Convention’.

This international convention, which was established on November 13, 1972 and entered into force on August 30, 1975, prevents marine pollution by restricting the dumping of waste materials originating on shore into the sea from a ship, marine structure or aircraft and restricts the incineration of waste materials at sea.

On November 7, 1996, the 1972 London Dumping Convention was updated by the 1996 London Protocol with even stronger restrictions. The most significant change was the addition of a methodology called the “precautionary approach.”

This approach is applicable in cases where there is a reason to believe that discarding waste material or some other substance in the sea could have a detrimental effect. Even if there is no clear proof concerning a relationship between the discarded material and detrimental effect, “appropriate defensive measures” are required.

Furthermore, although the 1972 Convention allows discarding materials at sea under some conditions, the 1996 Protocol includes a list of materials that can never be discarded at sea. The full text of the Convention and the Protocol is available for those interested.

As of November 2018, 87 countries had approved the 1972 Convention and 51 countries had approved the 1996 Protocol, which has been amended three times. Both the 1996 Protocol and the amended version as of 2006 are in force. The United States has approved the Convention but has not yet approved the Protocol.

Dumping at sea of soiled or damaged cargo

1. Current status of disposal at sea of soiled or damaged cargo

As the UK P&I Club says, currently there are no specific provisions in any conventions concerning the disposal of soiled or damaged cargo. A strict interpretation of the MARPOL Convention and the London Dumping Convention leads to the conclusion that a ship’s cargo is not domestic waste or waste material associated with the operation of the ship. These waste materials can be categorized as unnecessary items. Therefore, under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act, ships cannot in principle dispose of these materials at sea.

If a ship’s cargo is dumped at sea based on the interpretation that the cargo is a waste material resulting from the operation of the ship, the MARPOL Convention and the Marine Pollution Prevention Act will be applicable. Nevertheless, discarding at sea any waste materials on a ship is, in principle, banned.

The only exception is some of the waste materials recognized as not harmful to the marine environment by MEPC62. On the other hand, Annex V of the amended MARPOL states that ships are allowed to dump cargo residues that are not harmful to the marine environment at a distance of at least 12 nautical miles from shore.

As a result, decisions in relation to the disposal of cargo residues depend on the type of cargo. The standard for cargo residues that are not harmful to the marine environment is whether or not the cargo has ‘rapid toxicity, chronic toxicity or a long-term toxicity regarding health’.

However, the crews of ships are not currently required to obtain information about the nature of the cargo they are carrying. As a result, more activities will be needed to establish a clear standard for cargo residues.

2. Proper measures for the dumping at sea of soiled or damaged cargo

When dumping in the sea, the cargo that has become soiled or damaged on the ship is not be possible, the only course of action is to offload the cargo on land. However, the Basel Convention restricts the import and export of waste materials.

This means that soiled or damaged cargo cannot be offloaded as a waste material. Moreover, the London Dumping Convention does not allow ships and other modes of transportation to dump at sea any waste materials that originated on shore. Consequently, the disposal at sea of soiled or damaged cargo is also not allowed.

In conclusion, waste materials must be processed in accordance with designated procedures based on a consensus reached by all government agencies and other parties involved with this matter.

IMO welcomes Neptune Declaration on seafarers

By | Shipping News | No Comments

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the industry-led Neptune Declaration, which calls for seafarers to be designated as key workers to end the crew change crisis.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the industry-led Neptune Declaration, which calls for seafarers to be designated as key workers and for cooperation to end the crew change crisis, which is not only putting seafarers in a desperate situation but also threatening the safety of shipping and world trade. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the globe are unable to leave ships, while others cannot join, due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I am pleased to see the industry come together under the Neptune Declaration to support ways to resolve the crew change crisis. This very much reflects the calls made by IMO, its sister UN entities and more recently the United Nations General Assembly, in its recent resolution on seafarers,” Mr. Lim said. “I encourage more companies, including charterers,  to get involved and show their support for our seafarers.”  

In December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution on International cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers  who are supporting global supply chains during the Covid19 pandemic. (read more here) 

To date, the IMO Secretary-General has received 53 notifications from Member States that they have designated seafarers as key workers and one from an Associate Member (download latest list here).

Secretary-General Lim urged more Governments to designate seafarers as key workers.  

He also highlighted IMO’s World Maritime Theme for 2021, “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future. The choice of theme recognizes the efforts of  seafarers who have shown tremendous fortitude and perseverance in continuing to deliver global trade during the current unprecedented situation the world is facing. 

Reduced limit on sulphur in marine fuel oil implemented smoothly through 2020.

By | INTLREG NEWS | No Comments

On 1 January 2020, new reduced limits on sulphur in fuel oil brought about a 70% cut in total sulphur oxide emissions from shipping, ushering in a new era of cleaner air in ports and coastal areas by using less polluting fuels.

One year on, indications are that the transition has been extremely smooth, a testament to the preparations of all stakeholders prior to the new rules entering into force.

The upper limit of the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil was reduced to 0.5% (from 3.5% previously) – under the so-called “IMO 2020” regulation prescribed in the MARPOL Convention. This significantly reduces the amount of sulphur oxide emanating from ships.

“Through 2020, just 55 cases of 0.50% compliant fuel being unavailable had been reported in IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS),” said Roel Hoenders, Head of Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency at IMO (see FONAR reports section below).

“Given that more than 60,000 ships plied the world’s oceans in trade last year, this was a remarkably low percentage of ships encountering difficulty in obtaining compliant fuel. We had a great deal of preparation during 2019 and before, from all stakeholders and all indications are that there have been no significant issues with supply of low sulphur fuel oil.”

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, cargo-carrying ships have continued to deliver goods and commodities, including essential foods and medicines, around the world and the introduction and implementation of IMO 2020 did not cause any disruptions in trade.

Compliant fuels include very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and marine gas oil (MGO). Some ships limit their air pollutants by installing exhaust gas cleaning systems, also known as “scrubbers”. This is accepted  under the MARPOL Convention as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement. Over 2,350 systems have formally been reported to IMO as an approved “equivalent method” by Administrations (flag States).)

Ships can also have engines which are able to use different fuels, which may contain low or zero sulphur, such as liquefied natural gas or biofuels.

The majority of ships trading worldwide switched from using heavy fuel oil (HFO) to using VLSFO. Generally speaking, these are new blends of fuel oil, produced by refineries to meet the new limit, in accordance with IMO guidance and ISO standards.

Guidance issued by IMO on dealing with the new fuel blends in advance of the new requirement addressed implications of switching to VLSFO, including assessing and managing risks and highlighting potential safety risks, so that the risks can be mitigated.

Through 2020, and into 2021 to date, IMO has not received any reports of safety issues linked to VLSFO.

Nonetheless, during 2020, an IMO correspondence group considered fuel oil safety issues in general and the need for further mandatory requirements to ensure fuel oil supplied meets the required standards and quality. The report of the group (MSC 102/6) is available on IMODOCS  and will be discussed at the next session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), MSC 103 in May 2021.

Prior to that, the eighth session of the Sub-Committee on Prevention of Pollution from Ships (PPR 8), scheduled to meet remotely from 22 to 26 March 2021, will further consider VLSFO fuel quality issues, including possible effects on black carbon emissions.

Fuel oil quality requirements

Provisions in regulation 18 of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) regulate fuel oil quality. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) covers issues such as flashpoint (SOLAS regulation II- 2/4.2.1).

Apart from the requirements in MARPOL Annex VI and SOLAS, VLSFO is required to meet ISO standard 8217 as well as ISO Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 23263, providing guidance as to the application of the existing ISO 8217 marine fuel standard to 0.50% sulphur limit compliant fuel oils.

These measures and standards are designed to ensure ships’ safety and the protection of the marine environment and oceans.

FONAR reports

FONAR reports can be viewed on IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS), under Regulation 18.2.5 notifications.

In the GISIS module, the IMO Secretariat has examined the records that have selected the check-box for fuel oil “Not exceeding 0.50% m/m (in effect 1 January 2020)”. Individual records need to be viewed to access this information.

Cyber Security & Shipping – 3 changes the industry is seeing

By | Shipping News | No Comments

The shipping industry is going fast forward to an autonomous, digitalised world, with several projects being developed. Technology is now an integral part of the industry, highlighting the need for innovative projects and ideas. As a new wind of change, digitalisation brings changes within the industry, meaning that stakeholders have to keep up with them, not to be left behind.

Given that technology comes with great risk, being aware of the risks and challenges is crucial. Keep in mind that although technology can improve shipping operations and make everything easier, cyber-attacks are a great risk for shipping companies’ economics and their supply chains.

In line with IMO’s newly launched guidelines concerning cybercrime and cyber planning, keep in mind that training has a key role. From the people onshore, to those onboard, all employees have to be aware of the technological dangers and know how to deal with them, in case of an attack.

Meanwhile, training enables employees understand how to deal with an attack.

Digitalisation has become a great aspect of everyday life. Therefore, to gain from the technologies, it is important to understand why it is important in the maritime life.

3 changes the industry is seeing

#1 New technology, more automation and digitalisation are enabling the industry to be more efficient.

The role of cyber security is to handle the safety considerations and risks this new technology brings with it, as well as to ensure that we keep vessel operation and crew and passengers safe.

The industry has already seen a number of autonomous projects that represent the shipping of the future. Automation and autonomy are both powerful tools that will help the industry develop and research groundbreaking ways to improve the operations, and achieve the utmost safety for all in the sector.

#2 Cyber incidents on the rise.

Cyber attacks have been on the rise the recent years, due to the increased use of digitalisation by shipping companies and vessels.

We cannot forget the cyber attack against the IMO, an event that shocked the shipping industry. In light of the incident, IMO posted on Twitter that “its official website is down and its IT team is working on resolving the situation”.

Along with the higher number of integrated vessels comes new threats which can remotely attack your vessels and potentially gain access to or impact the vessel’s control systems.

#3 Cyber security regulations.

Although 2020 was a year anticipated due to the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap, 2021 was long awaited when the IMO announced the adoption of the Resolution MSC.428(98). This resolution calls companies to report any cyber risk in their ISM Code no later than January 1, 2021.

2021 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for autonomous technology.

Key tips for a non-stop changing smart future:

  • Training
  • Knowledge
  • Regulations

SOLAS Amendments for lifeboats

By | Maritime Regulations | No Comments

With Resolution MSC.402(96), IMO issued amendments for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats /rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear, which came into force in January 2020.

The provisions aim to prevent accidents with survival craft and to address longstanding issues such as the need for uniform, safe and documented standards related to the servicing of these appliances. The core of above amendments is the requirement for thorough examination, operational testing, repair and overhaul of equipment conducted by authorized and certified personnel.

The summary below is extracted by the Resolution.

Equipment covered by the new requirements include:

  • lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats and fast rescue boats; and
  • launching appliances and on-load and off-load release gear for lifeboats (including primary and secondary means of launching appliances for free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit-launched life rafts.

Weekly and monthly inspections and routine maintenance of such equipment must be carried out by authorized service providers, or by shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance manual(s).

Annual thorough examinations and operational tests must be carried out by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider. The service provider may be the ship operator, provided they are authorized.

Five-year thorough examination, any overhaul, overload operational tests and repairs of such equipment, must be carried out by certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider.

Authorized service providers are entities authorized by the flag administration in accordance with Sections 3 and 7 of Resolution MSC.402(96). It is important to note that the requirements apply equally to manufacturers when they are acting as authorized service providers.

Certification is issued by authorized service providers to their personnel. Each authorized service provider must certify its personnel for each make and type of equipment to be worked on, as well as for the specific work activities to be carried out, such as annual or five-yearly inspections. Completion of relevant education and training, including a competence assessment using the equipment for which the personnel are to be certified, is a prerequisite for certification.

Additionally, to the above do not forget the requirement of LSA Code for on load release mechanisms, which requires every lifeboat, including lifeboats which are also rescue boats, to be fitted with hooks that have on-load release capability. Exempted are free-fall lifeboats. The requirement is in place and the date of conformance has expired (no later than 01 July 2019). IMO requirements for on load release systems as per IMO Resolution 320(89).

Inspections and Routine Maintenance Table

Interval / Action


(reference to para. of MSC 402(96))

Conducted by:

Weekly Inspections

All items included in SOLAS maintenance manual, as required by Flag Administration (§4.1 and §6.1)

Authorized service provider or shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance manual

Monthly Inspections

All items included in SOLAS maintenance manual, as required by Flag Administration (§4.1 and §6.1)

Authorized service provider or shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance manual

Routine Maintenance as specified in the equipment maintenance man

All items included in SOLAS maintenance manual, as required by Flag Administration (§4.1 and §6.1)

Authorized service provider or shipboard personnel under the direction of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance manual

Annual thorough examination and operational test

  1. All items listed in checklists for the weekly/monthly inspections required by SOLAS regulations III/20.6 and III/20.7

  2. Lifeboats (incl. FFB), rescue boats, fast rescue boats

  3. Release gear of lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats, fast rescue boats and liferafts

  4. Davit-launched lifeboats’ and rescue boats’ on-load release function

  5. Davit-launched lifeboats’ and rescue boats’ off-load release function

  6. Free-fall lifeboat release function

  7. Davit launch life raft automatic release function

  8. Launching Appliances condition (corrosion, limit switches etc)

  9. Winches of launching appliances

Certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider

The service provider may be the ship operator, if authorized as per section 3 & 7 of Res. MSC 402(96)

Five-year thorough examination, any overhaul, overload operational tests.

Proof load to be used equal 1.1 times the weight of survival craft or rescue boat and its full complement of persons and equipment

  1. Winches of launching appliances

  2. Above items 4,5,6,7 but with the proof load of 1.1 of weight

  3. Dismantling of hook release units

  4. Examinations with regard to tolerances and design requirements

  5. Adjustment of release gear system after assembly

  6. Vital parts for corrosion or crack

Certified personnel of either the manufacturer or an authorized service provider in attendance of RO Surveyor. (MSC.1/Circ. 1618.)


Cyber security to be included in SMS: A new phase from January 2021

By | INTLREG NEWS, Shipping News | No Comments

Every business and every individual can be subject to cyber threats. Cyber-crime is a massive business; hackers are very well-organized, and they put a lot of time and effort before launching a cyber-attack. The last couple years, cyber security has become a significant challenge for the maritime industry as well. In this regard, IMO took the decision to embed cyber security into Safety Management Systems; not much time has left for this new requirement and one thing is for sure: from next year, a new era begins for ship operators.

Even though we have witnessed several cyber attacks during the last years, cyber-criminal activities seem to have increased, exploiting the vulnerability of users working from home.  These are the following: malware attacks, encrypted threats, crypto jacking, intrusion attempts, ransomware attacks and IoT malware. So, what shipping players should be doing in order to name themselves as cyber-secured?

The new IMO Requirement

According to Resolution MSC.428(98), operators need to ensure that their existing SMS appropriately address cyber risks by their 2021 annual verification. The risks as explained above are too many. With MSC-FAL 1/ Circ 3, IMO provides guidelines which consist of six pages and provide detailed recommendations on maritime cyber risk identification and management to safeguard shipping from current and emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

The recommendations are designed to be incorporated into existing SMS manuals and procedures and associated ISPS systems so as to update and enhance these processes. ‘’The overall goal is to support safe and secure shipping, which is operationally resilient to cyber risks.’’, IMO explains.

In particular, IMO issued “Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management”, to provide the required guidance on how a Company should respond to MSC. 428 (98), with reference to the following:

  • Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships issued by BIMCO, CLIA, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, OCIMF and IUMI.
  • ISO/IEC 27001 standard on Information technology
  • United States National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (the NIST Framework).

Key Items to be addressed

Safety Management System is the key document of every shipping company, explaining how to conduct safe operations, based on the ISM code and the required policies for safe operations, protection of people, ship, cargo and environment. In essence, SMS are dynamic systems, meaning that they need to adapt to new requirements and address current needs and possible risks.

Addressing cyber risks in Safety Management System, requires additional focus, a new approach and more interaction between company and vessels. The real focus point of the system is to achieve the protection of Company (office) and onboard installed systems from cyber threats (of any kind). The aim is to have specific procedures in place and a cyber security culture to minimize the possibility of being attacked or affected by an attack. Additionally, operators can create response technics to overcome challenges from a cyber attack, ensuring continuity of operations.

The new IMO requirements can either addressed as a stand-alone system (Cyber Security Management Plan as part of existing SMS) or a revised SMS which will incorporate all required steps.

Steps required

  1. Set the policy for cyber security. This is the base of cyber structure. It is a declaration of Company’s setting targets and main actions for cyber security. It may cover additional items (like General Data protection) as all such items are related.
  2. Conduct a thorough assessment both in office and on-board ships, in order to identify related systems that may be subject to cyber threat. Systems are to be identified, listed, prioritised on vulnerability as critical or not. All systems should be approved to be used for specific tasks. The supportive software should be authentic, updated and installed by competent personnel.
  3. Implement procedures for cyber policy. The procedures should include the actions for everyone related to above identified systems, setting the privileges, the authority levels and specific actions (in form Dos and Don’ts) for each position. Procedures should include as minimum:
    1. Privileges and authority, including access level for each system
    2. Password instructions
    3. Removal media instructions
    4. Third party access to systems instructions (eg agents, constructors, system technicians, pilots, terminal personnel and any other individual or organization that requires to be granted access to shore or on board systems)
  4. Set an effective response system. The system should have immediate response actions, backup procedures, rectification procedures and alternative ways of conducting day to day routine in order to retain a flawless operation.
  5. As per shipping industry’s culture, all related incidents should be investigated, and lessons learnt and best practices to be used for avoiding similar issues in the future.
  6. Conduct periodical assessment of systems and procedures through audit / management review in order to check effectiveness.

Office/Ship interaction

It is highly recommended to follow the practice of ship shore drills with cyber scenarios. The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships produced and supported by BIMCO, CLIA, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, OCIMF and IUMI, version 4.0 include useful real life incidents that can be used as sample scenarios for such drills.

Additionally as COVID-19 outbreak has altered operations, more and more Companies now use remote inspections and audits to monitor their managed vessels. These actions require procedures that can affectively produce monitoring results but simultaneously protect the systems used to conduct such operations.

Actions required

Ship Managers should:

  • Revise existing SMS to include cyber risk management and related procedures
  • Verify implementation of policies and procedures both ashore and on board
  • Provide all required resources for equipment (hardware) and/or software upgrades in order to support procedures
  • Provide ashore and on-board training to personnel for cyber threats/risks and best practices to address them.

Seafarers and Office personnel should:

  • Follow the procedures and guidance on cyber risk management
  • Do not use personal equipment on Company’s systems (ashore or onboard)
  • Be aware of all risks and threats related to cyber
  • Notify immediately authorized Company’s personnel for any suspicious or identified cyber issue in order to initiate response actions.

The industry is currently fighting with the thought whether operators are ready or not to comply. One way or another, from January 1st of January 2021, SMS will feature a new requirement, resulting to increased awareness over cyber security which is a critical issue as we have accelerated our path towards digitalization.

Click below for : The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships Version 4


How IMO OSV Chemical Code affects US offshore supply vessels

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As the IMO’s 2021 to the IBC Code (MEPC.318(74) and MSC.460(101)) are entering into force on 1st January, offshore supply vessels that intend to carry NLS on international voyages after that date will be required to meet the carriage requirements listed in the OSV Chemical Code or approved equivalents, USCG advised through a new information bulletin (MSIB 24-20).

For offshore supply vessels (OSVs), the 2021 IBC Code amendments will be implemented through IMO resolution A.1122(30) and the updated Code for the Transport and Handling of Hazardous and Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk of Offshore Supply Vessels (the OSV Chemical Code).

The OSV Chemical Code provides the design and construction standards for an OSV to carry any of the products listed in the IBC Code. These new amendments will affect most of the carriage requirements for the products listed in ENG Policy Letter 03-12.

Therefore, OSVs that intend to carry NLS on international voyages after 1 January 2021 will be required to meet the carriage requirements listed in the OSV Chemical Code or approved equivalents.

Furthermore, the carriage requirements of the provisionally assessed tradename mixtures listed in the MEPC.2/Circular may change, as the IMO is currently reevaluating many of these products.

For example, under the 2021 IBC Code, both methyl alcohol (methanol) and toluene will be considered toxic. Therefore, any tradename product that contains either of these two products will also likely be considered toxic. Products that must be carried on a type 2 ship will not be authorized for carriage onboard a type 3 ship.

OSV operators that intend to carry products listed in the IBC Code or MEPC.2/Circular in bulk on international voyages are highly encouraged to contact CG-ENG at their earliest convenience. A member of my staff will evaluate your particular circumstances and determine if any alterations to your vessel are necessary.

OSV operators that intend to carry noxious liquid substances (NLS) on domestic routes only must meet the requirements of either 46 CFR 125.120 (for vessels less than 6,000 GT) or 46 CFR 125.125 (for vessels of at least 6,000 GT).

Per ENG Policy Letter 03-12, an OSV is authorized to carry the 30 products listed in Appendix I of the policy, while those vessels covered by 46 CFR 125.125 may, in addition, carry non-toxic products suitable for a type-3 ship as defined by the IBC Code. The carriage of any product requiring a type 2 ship for an OSV on a domestic route is not currently authorized.

Click here below for more information:



NGOs Urge IMO To Rethink Weak HFO Ban, Demand Stronger Arctic Protection

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As the first virtual meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (IMO, MEPC 75) opens , the Clean Arctic Alliance implored member states to amend and improve its draft ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic or risk implementing a “paper ban” – a weak regulation that will leave the Arctic exposed to greater danger from oil spills and black carbon pollution from HFO in the future, as shipping in the region increases.

“Instead of rushing headlong into disaster, the IMO and its Member States must make serious amendments to the draft ban on the use and carriage of polluting heavy fuel oil in the Arctic – if they approve the ban as it stands, it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

“IMO Member States must realise that unless they remove or amend the exemption and the waiver clauses, and bring forward the implementation dates, the HFO ban as currently drafted will leave the Arctic unprotected in the years to come. In fact, it is likely that the volume of HFO used and carried will increase, resulting in a greater risk to the Arctic from HFO spills and black carbon pollution for the next decade”.

At the IMO’s PPR 7 subcommittee meeting in February 2020, the IMO and its member states developed a draft regulation prohibiting the use and carriage as fuel of HFO by ships in the Arctic. However, the inclusion of loopholes in the draft regulation – in the form of exemptions and waivers – means that a HFO ban will not come into effect until mid-2029, leaving Arctic communities, Indigenous peoples and ecosystems exposed to the growing threat of HFO spills for the whole of the 2020s – nearly a decade .

“Increased shipping in the Arctic poses great risks, and Arctic communities are seeing its negative impacts from debris and marine mammal ship strikes. Banning HFO from the Arctic is the right thing, and IMO Member States must ensure that it is a true ban. Exemptions and waivers allow business as usual. It is upon all nations to consider the impacts to people who live in the Arctic and make their living from the waters of the Arctic to implement an HFO ban to lessen the myriad threats we in the Arctic face”, said Austin Ahmusak, marine advocate for Kawerak, Inc, Alaska, which works to assist Alaska Native people and their governing bodies to take control of their future.

As drafted, the five central Arctic coastal states will be able to issue waivers to their own flagged ships and by-pass the ban. The regulation is not flag-neutral, and it will create a two-tier system of environmental protection and enforcement in the Arctic, along with lower standards and negative environmental consequences in the Arctic’s territorial seas and exclusive economic zones. This version of the ban could also potentially lead to transboundary pollution.

According to recent analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation, as currently drafted, the regulation will only reduce the use of HFO by 16% and the carriage of HFO as fuel by 30% when it takes effect in July 2024, and will allow 74% of Arctic shipping to continue with business as usual. Between July 2024 and July 2029, when the ban becomes fully effective, the amount of HFO used and carried in the Arctic is likely to increase as shipping in the Arctic increases, and as newer ships replace older vessels and are able to take advantage of the exemption or change flag and seek a waiver from the ban.

Earlier this month, on November 6th, Norway announced a proposal to ban HFO from all the waters around the Arctic island archipelago of Svalbard. HFO has already been banned from Svalbard’s national park waters since 2015, and has been banned throughout Antarctic waters since 2011 .

It is not just the risk of HFO spills that concerns the Clean Arctic Alliance; heavy fuel oil is a greater source of harmful emissions of air pollutants, such as sulphur oxide, and particulate matter, including black carbon, than so-called “alternative fuels” such as distillate fuel and liquefied natural gas (LNG). When emitted and deposited on Arctic snow or ice, the climate heating effect of black carbon is up to five times more than when emitted at lower latitudes, such as in the tropics. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) recorded the monthly average ice extent for October was the lowest in the satellite record, while the summer sea ice extent was the second lowest on record .

Recently published work by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body responsible for regulating international shipping, shows that globally shipping black carbon emissions have grown by 12 per cent between 2012 and 2018 , while work from the International Council on Clean Transportation found that in the Arctic black carbon emissions from the Arctic shipping fleet grew by 85 per cent in only four years between 2015 and 2019 .

The decline of Arctic sea ice is expected to open up little used shipping routes including the Northern Sea Route – across the top of Russia – to ships trying to find a faster, cheaper route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. But the decline of sea ice and greater accessibility to ships increases the risk of accidents, particularly due to the hazards of navigating poorly charted waters. As well as the dangers of HFO spills – an Arctic oil spill would prove nearly impossible to clean up, the burning of fuel such as HFO has a direct and localised impact for the Arctic sea and glacier ice. When black carbon particles fall on ice, they reduce its ability to reflect light and heat, which leads to accelerated melting. As the snow and ice melts, the darker surface of the land or the sea beneath continues to absorb heat. In short, the use of HFO by Arctic shipping contributes to the acceleration of multiple feedback loops that are contributing to dramatic changes in the Arctic and elsewhere.

Despite the dramatic changes occuring in the Arctic due to global heating and the risk to the Arctic from emissions of black carbon from shipping, black carbon will not be addressed at MEPC 75.

“The IMO has spent nine years already discussing black carbon but has so far failed to agree any concrete measures to reduce emissions. The Clean Arctic Alliance wants to see the IMO develop and adopt a resolution which would set out recommended interim measures to reduce black carbon emissions, ahead of completion of the work to identify and implement one or more black carbon abatement measures”, said Prior.

“The Arctic is changing before our eyes and those changes will have repercussions for all of us” continued Prior. The contribution of black carbon to global heating especially when emitted close to snow and ice is significant and it is imperative that all sources are rapidly eliminated.”

The Clean Arctic Alliance is calling on the IMO and its Members to step-up and take action which will urgently reduce and eliminate black carbon emissions from ships operating within or near to the Arctic. By switching from HFO or very low sulphur fuels (VLSFOs) to alternative cleaner fuels emissions of black carbon can be reduced by 30 – 45%. Then the installation of an efficient particulate filter will increase the reduction of black carbon emissions by over 90%.

MEPC 75 is also scheduled to make a big decision on greenhouse gas emissions. In October, the IMO’s working group on reducing GHG emissions developed an extremely weak proposal known as “J/5.rev1“ that at best would shave 1.3% from the business-as-usual growth pathway of 15% by 2030. In short, unless delegates reject this weak deal, IMO will endorse a climate plan that sees emissions from ships keep growing for several decades – backtracking on its own commitments made in 2018 to strive for a short-term peak in emissions followed by reductions.

If the global shipping industry were a country, it would lie 6th in the carbon emitter’s rankings, above Germany – with 1 billion tonnes of emissions a year, around 3% of the global total.

These emissions have a direct impact on the Arctic, which is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth due to global heating. It is well known that what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic – loss of sea ice is likely to drive instability in the polar regions and upset weather patterns while the melting of Greenland’s ice caps is set to raise sea levels in port cities around the world.

What to expect from MEPC 75:

The draft Arctic HFO ban regulation will be discussed during the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee from 16-20 November 2020 (MEPC75), which will be the first MEPC meeting held virtually. During the meeting:

  • NGOs will draw attention to the inadequate impact and effectiveness of the draft regulation banning the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters.

NGOs will highlight recently published work indicates that loopholes in the draft regulation mean that only 30% of HFO carriage and 16% of HFO use would be banned when the regulation comes into effect as proposed in 2024, and incredibly, that it is likely that the amount of HFO carried and used in the Arctic will increase following the ban taking effect.

  • Despite the dramatic changes occuring in the Arctic due to global warming, the risk to the Arctic from emissions of black carbon from shipping will not be addressed at MEPC 75. The Clean Arctic Alliance will however continue to push for a commitment to a MEPC black carbon resolution which would set out recommended interim measures pending completion of IMO work to identify and implement one or more black carbon abatement measures.