Updated marine regulations you need to know about in 2019

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SOLAS damage stability, EU MRV and IMO DCS and MARPOL ANNEX
VI: To prepare and comply with what you need to know.

2019 is a busy year with the adoption of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
regulation with the forthcoming SOLAS amendments, significant milestones for the data
collection system for fuel oil consumption (DCS) along with the EU regulation on monito
ring, reporting and verification (MRV) and the entry into force of the MARPOL Annex VI
Global Sulphur Limit in January 2020.Here is why these regulations are important to
ship-owners and operators.

Amendments to SOLAS Chapter II-1 on damage stability

Chapter II/1of the SOLAS amendments to harmonize the damage stability of cargo and p
assenger ship came into force in 2009.This made probabilistic damage stability the main
method for calculating the damage stability for passenger vessels and general cargo ves
sels. Once the amendments came into use, the need for a number of revisions became
apparent, so the IMO undertook a major review of the subdivision and damage stability
requirements in Chapter II-1 of SOLAS. Significant changes include, amongst others:

  • Requiring limiting stability information to include trim.
  • Modifying the required subdivision index, R, for passenger ships.
  • Amending the calculation for S factor.
  • Providing limits on the distance between small wells and the keel line unless a
    damage stability check is made and introducing a minimum limit for the vertical
    damage extent. Permitting a butterfly valve at the collision bulkhead on cargo
  • Requiring testing of watertight hatches.
  • Requiring air pipes which terminate in a superstructure to be considered
    unprotected openings unless fitted with a watertight means of closure.
  • Removing the possibility of leaving watertight doors open.

These amendments need to be taken into account in the design of ships contracted from
1 January 2020.

Monitoring and reporting of fuel oil consumption and CO 2 emissions

2019 brings significant milestones in both the EU’s MRV regulation and the IMO’s fuel
oil consumption DCS requirements under MARPOL Annex VI. For EU MRV, the first year
of monitoring ended in 2018 and the first reporting is taking place in early 2019. For
IMO DCS, 2019 is the first monitoring period. In order to comply with the IMO DCS
requirements, each affected existing vessel’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan
(SEEMP) will by now have been updated with a new Part II to provide the ship-specific
methodology and processes to be followed for the data collection. New ships will need
to have this upon delivery. After verified data has been reported, it will be transferred to
the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database where it will be kept anonymised. This will
help the IMO to produce annual reports and evaluate the need for further technical and
operational measures for enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping.

For ships subject to the EU MRV regulation, the first monitoring period has now finished
and the collected monitoring reports need to be submitted for verification. For LR
clients, all documentation (monitoring plans and emission report evidence packs),
except emission reports, should be submitted to CO2 Verifier. The regulation requires
that clients submit emission reports directly to THETIS-MRV, which is operated by the
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). As the accredited verification body, LR will
then retrieve the reports from THETIS-MRV for verification and upload them to CO2
Verifier along with related LR deliverables.

Global fuel sulphur limit reduction to 0.50% and associated carriage ban

From 1 January 2020, MARPOL Annex VI will require all new and existing ships to
comply with the new global 0.50% sulphur limit using the most appropriate method for
that ship. The options include low sulphur fuels and alternative fuels, or alternative
arrangements such as an exhaust gas cleaning system (also known as scrubbers). The
global limit means that this applies to all areas outside of Emission Control Areas
(ECAs). Unless a ship has an alternative arrangement such as a scrubber, shipowners
and managers will need to consider debunkering any high sulphur fuel oil that is not
used up before 1 January 2020. The IMO has also adopted a requirement to prohibit
ships from carrying fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.50% if its purpose is for
combustion for propulsion or operations on board, unless the ship has an approved
equivalent arrangement in place. This is to help support full global compliance. Due to
the IMO procedural requirements for amendments to MARPOL, this will enter into force
on 1 March 2020, but it is worth clarifying that this does not change the sulphur limit
reduction date.

Timeline for IMO DCS

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The IMO DCS regulations require companies submit the FOC by End March 2020 (and yearly), but IntlReg as an RO, strongly recommend earlier submission to rectify possible errors/non-compliance and ensure timely issuance of the SoC.

Kindly contact us at or for registration in INTLREG IMO DCS

Be Ready for The Maritime IMO Data Collection System

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It’s time to be prepared for the Maritime IMO Data Collection System.

With the adoption of new mandatory requirements by the regulatory authority of the industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an important milestone on the road to controlling greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping was achieved.

Under the new requirements, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above will need to collect data on consumption for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other additional, specified data including transportation work proxies. These ships account for about 85% of international shipping CO2 emissions. The data collected will provide a firm basis on which future decisions can be taken on additional measures, in addition to those already taken by IMO.

For its 70thSession 24-28 October 2016, the requirements were adopted by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in London. IMO has sent a clear signal that IMO is prepared to build on existing ships energy efficiency technical and operational measures.

From the calendar year 2019, according to the methodology included in the SEEMP, each ship of 5000 gross tonnage and above shall collect the data for that and each subsequent calendar year or portion thereof.

The ship shall aggregate, as appropriate, the data collected in that calendar year or portion
thereof at the end of each calendar year and report to ships flag.

INTLREG IMO DCS service is available to all vessels registered with flag states that have authorized INTLREG to act as RO for the certification of MARPOL Annex VI. Once entry to the online portal is provided, vessel managers or owners for the current calendar year can enter fuel data for the vessel for each trip through the INTLREG website. INTLREG will report the data in the first quarter of 2020 in the IMO format to the respective flag states. Once the vessel’s annual fuel data is reported to the flag and a compliance statement will be issued by flag / RO by May 2020 upon verification; additional fees applicable to the compliance statement.

Please be informed that IMO DCS is a mandatory requirement for ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above engaged in international voyages. Therefore, Owners and managers of these ships are requested to enroll their vessels for the INTLREG IMO DCS service at the earliest so that compliance can be achieved for issuance statement of compliance in time.

Kindly contact us at or for registration in INTLREG IMO DCS.

INTLREG Certifies Carnival Cruise Lines “Carnival Miracle” with CICA Certification

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INTLREG concluded a successful Crew Accommodation survey for Carnival Cruise Line on behalf of the Panama Administration.

During the inspection of Carnival Miracle, a vessel registered with the Panamanian Flag, each crew member, including the master and full staff, were outstanding in providing assistance in the process. This resulted in a smooth & efficient inspection. During the port stay of a huge Passenger vessel such as this, the crew is extremely busy with multiple activities and tens of other moving parts, yet they managed to find the time to provide continuous support until the inspection was completed. All mandatory areas were checked for the renewal of the Crew Accommodation certification including the Maritime labor (MLC) portion dealing with food under title 3, seating capacities of the mess rooms, bunk capacities, bathroom facility capacities in relationship to the minimum safe manning requirements.

With some exception, every Panamanian flagged vessel of 500 gross tonnage and upward, shall have onboard, at all times, a valid Certificate of Inspection of Crew Accommodation (CICA). CICA was created to guarantee the strict compliance and the effective implementation of national or international Maritime Labor Regulations, related to labor conditions, life, and accommodation of Seafarers on board the vessels registered with the Panamanian Flag.

As an independent organization the International Register of Shipping (INTLREG) continues our ongoing commitment to provide professional services to the maritime industry from the 25 Governmental authorizations in our portfolio.



INTLREG Opens Office in Bahrain

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International Register of Shipping (INTLREG), an organization duly authorized by the Bahrain flag state authorities for certification of ships and other floating facilities registered in Bahrain has opened our office in Bahrain.

Apart from Bahrain, we are authorized by 24 more flag states spread around the world to do classification and statutory certification of ships and other floating facilities. Head Quartered in Miami USA, we have an international network of surveyors around the world.

In addition to classification and statutory certification of ships, our portfolio of services include various third party inspections, naval architectural and marine engineering services, and professional training services.

Message us and find out what we can do for you at

Intlreg EShips Launch with PMA

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We are proud to officially announce the launch of our INTLREG e-Ships software.
INTLREG e-Ships is the result of the knowledge and experience our organization has gained by providing global services to the maritime industry for over 25 years. It brings together all aspects of our organization. It modernizes our organization and provides us with an improved ability to offer an array of maritime services.
A demonstration of INTLREG e-Ships and its features were made to Eng. Yazmin Valles and Eng. Jose Ortega who were both at our head office in Miami, FL USA representing the Panama Maritime Administration. We were happy to have received their blessing for the inauguration of E-ships.
After the demonstration Mrs. Yazmin Valles, General Directorate of the PMA Merchant Marine, stated, “PMA welcomes IRS initiative to implement their new platform “Intl Reg E-Ships” which we strongly believe will reduce the recurrence of human error improving IRS fleet performance and by addition will contribute to maintain Panama Flag’s high-quality standards.”
INTLREG e-Ships will help to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity for delivering faster service to our customers. The client portal keeps you up to date with real time monitoring of your vessels that are registered with us. Viewing the survey status on demand, download e-copies of the certificates, and monitoring the jobs that are currently in progress are a few beneficial features now available.
We continue our ongoing commitment to provide professional services to the maritime industry and the 25 flag administrations that we are approved by. As a provider of classification, certification, verification, training, advisory and other risk management services, we understand the importance of maintaining a high standard for our clients. We act with impartiality and objectivity as a self-regulating agency to the international marine industry.

2016 Amendments to the Code of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

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The 2016 amendments to the code of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 enter into force today. ILO has prepared amendments to the MLC 2006 with regards to:

Regulation 4.3 – Health and safety protection and accident prevention
The intention is to eliminate shipboard harassment and bullying by including relevant provisions in the Code of the MLC 2006.

Regulation 5.1 – Flag State responsibilities
The amendment will now allow an extension of not more than five months of the validity of the Maritime Labour Certificate issued for ships. This will apply in cases where the renewal inspection has been successfully completed, but a new certificate cannot immediately be issued to the ship e.g. Where the flag Administration issues the full term certificate. The amendments were approved by the 105th ILO Conference (7 June 2016, Geneva). The final entry into force date is pending.

Ship-owners and Ship Managers are advised to review their management systems to ensure they include procedures for the elimination of harassment and bullying on board their ship.

Download our free Regulatory Bulletin; An aide-memoire of upcoming regulatory changes in the international shipping industry.

IRS Increases Efficiency With Intlreg EShips

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With the implementation of Intlreg eShips our clients will receive faster service and be better prepared to manage the regulatory aspects of their vessels.

Intlreg eShips’ client portal keeps you up to date with real time monitoring of your vessels registered with us. The portal has many beneficial features such as the ability to view the survey status on demand, download e-copies of the certificates and monitor the jobs that are currently in progress.

Intlreg eShips eliminates redundancies and optimizes our internal processes. From this, we are able to provide our services with minimal interruption and keep you informed at each step. A clear line of communication is maintained with you to ensure that all necessary requirements are understood, and services are completed in a timely manner.

The launch of Intlreg eShips has already begun with phase 1 of our rollout plan. Phase 1 encompasses familiarity training to all our staff and surveyors world-wide with our new software. Our 1st phase is nearly complete with our staff from our technical headquarter (THO), regional offices and survey stations successfully completing the mandatory online training for Intlreg eships.

With this step, we continue our ongoing commitment to provide professional services to the maritime industry in a fast and reliable manner. We are a provider of Classification & Statutory services and are approved by 24 flag administrations. With 25 years of business and operations in every continent we are pleased to provide you with professional services that you can depend on.

Dual Class Agreement Between IRS & CR Class

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The CEO of the International Register of Shipping (IRS), Bijimon Punnoose, and the President of the CR Classification Society (CR Class), Ms. Lui, Ying-Rui, met in China on the 3rd of December to discuss the current regulatory developments at IMO and other possibilities of mutual beneficial collaboration between the two organizations. During the meeting both Ms. Lui and Mr. Punnoose agreed to further strengthen the cooperation between the two organizations.

Established in 2009, the dual class agreement outlines the scope and objectives of cooperation between IRS and CR Class. From this agreement, both organizations are able to enhance their abilities to service the vessels classed with them and enforce compliance with their respective rules.  It also promotes the cooperation and sharing of technical information and other technical aspects. This sharing of information bolsters the knowledge and know-how of the both organizations.

The safety of life, property and the environment are core principles for both organizations. The dual class agreement is the result of this unwavering commitment of the two organizations to these principles. Both organizations’ willingness to work together, setting aside the competition and upholding the common goals and principles, is benefiting the customers of both.

E-Ships Implementation

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The International Register of Shipping (IRS) is nearly complete with phase 1 of its new management software Intreg e-Ships. Phase 1 consists of world-wide familiarity training for IRS surveyors and staff.

The Intlreg e-Ships application is a Web/Desktop based interface that contains all related information about Vessels, Ship Owners, Certificates, Surveyors, Managers, Agents, and Quotations/ survey instructions/ survey reporting. Some of the key features are listed, but not limited to the following: 

·      Web based survey execution reporting process for IRS from quotation till issuance of final document with real-time status showing progress of work.

·      Managing information of all vessels and their particulars, ship owners/managers, surveyors and agents.

·      Login access for Customers, Ship Owners, Flag States and Port State Control.

·      Ability to interact with other Enterprise Recourse Planning software through web service.

·      Managing data of all ship owners/managers and their respective vessels.

A project 5 years in the making which enmeshed majority of the marine division, management and other key stake holders will greatly enhance the ability of IRS to deliver its services quickly and effectively. It also provides the clients of IRS with the much-needed ability to easily manage the services provided to them.

Lead by the Head of Classification and Marine Division, Jayachandran Karumathil, IRS management was tasked with upgrading its current system by identifying solutions that could unify all information and processes that relate to its maritime division.  The project also required the elimination of redundancies and the optimization of processes such as reporting, data collection and quality control. Management quickly realized that this would not be an easy task to complete.

Implementation of Intlreg Eships will be a key milestone in the progress of   International Register of Shipping as a leading classification society in the world providing services that meet or exceed their customer expectations.  Once fully implemented Intlreg Eships will be IRS’s backbone for integrated management of its services and processes. The program will help to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity for delivering faster service to their customers.