News & Events

IMO welcomes WHO vaccine roadmap seafarer prioritization

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IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization‘s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. The updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: “Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.”

IMO Secretary General Lim said, “I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships. These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.”

The SAGE guidance aims to provide guidance for overall programme priorities as well as vaccine-specific recommendations and consists of three steps: Step 1: A values framework; Step 2: Roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines; Step 3: Vaccine-specific recommendations. The vaccine prioritization roadmap considers priority populations for vaccination based on epidemiologic setting and vaccine supply scenarios and can be used by countries to shape their national response to the pandemic.

The IMO has made a number of calls for priority vaccination for seafarers this year, including issuing a joint statement with other UN organizations in March 2021, calling for seafarers and aircrew to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. In May, IMO adopted a resolution which encouraged priority vaccination for seafarers in national COVID-19 vaccination programmes and Secretary-General Lim called on all IMO Member States to designate seafarers as ‘key workers’ and support a fair global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Additional information and resources related to the IMO’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

EU proposes tax on all shipping emissions and to limit polluting fuels

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The European Commission has unveiled its plan to tax almost 70% of emissions from voyages to the European Economic Area. It also wants ships to burn less greenhouse gas-intensive fuels, some bunkers to be taxed for the first time and ports to provide more LNG and onshore power supply.

THE European Union should tax international shipping emissions and domestic bunkers and require owners to buy cleaner fuels and ports to ramp up supply of shore power and liquefied natural gas as fuel, according to new proposals.

The European Commission has published a set of legislative proposals to enable the EU to attain its 2030 target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

The “Fit for 55” package includes 10 proposals, four of which are directly related to maritime and will have wide-ranging international repercussions for both shipping emissions and costs.

Among the most consequential ones are the expansion of the EU Emissions Trading System, the bloc’s carbon market, to include shipping and the imposition of the first greenhouse gas intensity requirements on shipping fuels, through the FuelEU Maritime.

Each of these two proposals would cover just under 70% of annual shipping carbon dioxide emissions related to the European Economic Area, including parts of international voyages to and from EEA ports.

The proposals would mark the most aggressive policies on shipping emissions and decarbonisation as well as the official launch of an attempt to impose unilateral measures on shipping, including international shipping, ahead of the International Maritime Organization, the global maritime regulator, which has repeatedly denounced efforts by the EU to regulate international shipping emissions.

All of these proposals have to be negotiated with the European Parliament and EU member states before they can be adopted.

Both the ETS extension and the FuelEU Maritime concern ships of at least 5,000 gross tonnes regardless of flag. Both proposals also put the responsibility on shipowners to comply, in line with existing requirements.

However, in a first, the ETS and FuelEU Maritime recognise the “polluter pays” principle and state that a shipping company could hold the entity responsible for the vessels emissions or the GHG intensity of the fuels, respectively, accountable for the compliance costs “by means of a contractual arrangement”.

“This entity would normally be the entity that is responsible for the choice of fuel, route and speed of the ship,” the proposals said.

This part was not included in leaked versions and Lloyd’s List understands it was added over the past few days due to pressure from industry to recognise the role that charterers have in emissions.

The ETS works as a cap and trade scheme, in which companies buy emissions allowances from a limited pool, where one allowance equals 1 tonne of emitted CO2. After the end of the year they need to surrender enough allowances to cover their ships’ emissions for that year.

If they have more allowances than they need, they can sell them to other companies which require them or can keep them for next year.

While the commission wants shipowners to begin complying with the ETS from 2023, it is also proposing a gradual introduction of the measure; an owner would have to pay just for 20% of a ship’s emissions in 2023. That share then increases annually to reach 100% coverage in 2026.

However, shipping companies will not be getting free allowances from the EU.

If shipping was in the ETS in 2020 under this geographical scope and with 100% coverage of the relevant emissions, 81.2m tonnes of CO2 of the total 119.9m tonnes of CO2 emitted in EEA-related voyages would have been covered, according to a recent Lloyd’s List analysis.

Each shipping company will be assigned to a specific EU member state authority that will oversee their compliance.

If a company does not surrender the right amount of allowances by April 30 of the following year, it must pay an extra €100 ($118) fine per tonne of CO2 equivalent it did not have allowances for.

Companies that have not complied for two consecutive years could be denied entry from EU ports, if the member state that is responsible chooses that option.

“As a result of the issuing of such an expulsion order, every Member State shall refuse entry of the ships under the responsibility of the shipping company concerned into any of its ports until the company fulfils its surrender obligation,” the commission’s proposal said.

The proposal also suggests that there be a review clause that will also take account progress made at the IMO.

“While the recent progress achieved in IMO is welcome, these measures are insufficient to decarbonise international shipping in line with international climate objectives,” the commission said in its proposal.

 

First-ever GHG intensity rule for fuels 

FuelEU, the proposal from the commission’s transport division, DG Move, will force vessels to call at EEA ports to improve the GHG intensity of the fuels they use for those voyages.

These requirements begin with a 2% improvement in 2025 and grow every five year to reach 75% in 2050.

The requirements would take into account the GHG emissions a fuel generates throughout its lifecycle, from its production to its final consumption by the ship, not just its use by the ship.

Shipowners have protested at the FuelEU because it puts the onus of sourcing these alternative fuels on them rather than on their producers. With the rules extending beyond just domestic voyages, they will be responsible for finding these fuels abroad.

Both industry and environmentalists have criticised the commission for in effect promoting the consumption of biofuels, which can have questionable sustainability credentials especially when sourced from regions the EU has no jurisdiction over.

The commission has also been criticised for in effect pushing the development and use of LNG, which has lower CO2 emissions than heavy fuel oil, but is still a fossil fuel and suffers the slip of unburned methane, a GHG that is over 80 times more warming than CO2 on a 20-year horizon.

The proposal also allows owners of different ships to pool ships together to help each other with compliance, provided those ships in the pool are verified by the same verifier.

If in a pool one ship is over-compliant with the requirements of the previous year, while another is not, the first can transfer its excess credits to the second.

The regulation does not specify how exactly that happens, but the implication is that in cases where two ships are owned by different companies, one company could sell its credits to the other in need.

Companies that are not compliant with the rules by May 1 of the following year will have to pay a penalty. The money would go into a green fuel fund and they can get a certificate of compliance once they pay.

From January 2030, containerships and passengerships at EEA ports will also have to connect to onshore power supply and “use it for all energy needs while at berth”.

The commission has estimated that the estimated cost of the proposal would be €89.7bn. That includes €25.8bn from increased capital costs and €63.9bn in fuel costs, while ports would require an extra €5.9bn in extra infrastructure.

 

Development of LNG refuelling hubs

With requirements on shipping fuels, the commission also wants ports to act to complement these new rules.

In a revision of the directive for alternative fuel infrastructure deployment, it tells governments that ports should develop “adequate” refuelling points for LNG as a fuel from January 1, 2025.

Like the FuelEU Maritime, this proposal also focuses on onshore power supply for containerships and passenger ships of at least 5,000 gt at key EEA ports.

It says that by January 1, 2030 ports with over 50 average annual containership calls over the past three years need to be able to have shore-side power output to cover at least 90% of that energy demand.

Likewise, ports with more than 40 average annual calls of ro-ro passengerships and high-speed passenger crafts over the past three years, and over 25 calls of other passengerships, will need to be able to supply the same amount of onshore power by 2030.

 

Taxes on bunkers

The revised Energy Taxation Directive proposes a minimum €0.90 per gigajoule tax on bunker fuels used for intra-European maritime voyages from January 1, 2023.

The tax is just 12% of what other sectors that use fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel will be charged because of the risk that shipowners and operators would otherwise source bunkers outside the EU, the directive said.

Petrol and gasoil for land transport would be charged at €10.75 per gigajoule, with kerosene used for jet fuel exempt.

The tax rate for liquefied natural gas used as bunkers is set at €0.60 per gigajoule, compared with €7.17 per gigajoule for other uses. The lesser tax for LNG used as bunkers is based on a structure that rates fossil-based energy products based on their energy content and environmental performance.

Bunkers are normally exempt from taxes but the EU is introducing the charges over a 10-year transitional period from 2023.

Countries have an option to impose their own tax for extra-European voyages provided that it is no less than this minimal rate.

“For extra-EU waterborne navigation, Member States may exempt or apply the same levels of taxation mentioned before, according to the type of activity,” the directive said.

Ammonia and advanced biofuels used in shipping would be exempt to encourage sustainable alternative fuels, according to the revised directive.

Along with a “well-calibrated” emissions trading scheme for the maritime sector, the favoured option of taxes set at these levels would achieve goals to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, based on 1990 levels, the report said.

The impact assessment found the taxes would not place any undue burden on the economy.

They amount to a 2% rise in the cost of using heavy fuel oil as bunkers and a 1% rise in the price of LNG as bunkers, said Jacob Armstrong, shipping policy officer for non-governmental organisation Transport and Environment.

He said the emissions trading scheme which places a price on carbon used on shipping “was where all the heavy lifting would be done”, in cutting shipping emissions.

Unlike other environment proposals, the tax directive would need to approved unanimously by all countries, rather than by a majority, Mr Armstrong said.

“Marine fuels are not going to be significantly higher and hopefully member states like Greece, Cyprus and Malta will let it through,” he said.

How to solve COVID’s crew change crisis and protect global supply chains

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  • Over 1 million seafarers work in tough conditions to support 80% of global trade.
  • COVID-19 pandemic has stranded vast numbers of these key workers at sea.
  • We outline the urgent support and health protection measures needed from stakeholders across the supply chain.

Around 80% of global trade is transported by ships, and the maritime supply chain is supported by more than 1 million seafarers who are key in delivering the services needed to run our societies. Even as the world slowed down as a result of the pandemic, seafarers did not stop, but kept the supply chain running to ensure goods could reach their destination. This allowed world trade to continue, but it did so at great cost to the seafarers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crew change crisis which has led to hundreds of thousands of seafarers being impacted and, in many instances, left stranded on ships beyond the expiry of their contracts.

The crisis has now been ongoing for more than a year and a half, and the latest data shows the situation is getting worse – despite efforts by the maritime community, including over 800 organizations who have signed up to the Neptune Declaration. The Declaration was launched in January 2021 to respond to the crew change crisis, outlining key actions that need to be taken to resolve it by governments, companies and other stakeholders.

Our collective failure to properly address the crew change crisis puts the seafarers, who are key in supporting global trade, in an unacceptable situation. It prevents them from returning home to their loved ones and the extended periods at sea have significant consequences on their physical and mental wellbeing. If left unresolved, the difficulties in carrying out crew changes could expand as seafarers understandably start considering if they want to return to sea, which could pose a threat to the resilience of global supply chains.

There is an urgent need to address the further deteriorating crew change crisis. Data from the 10 largest ship managers, published through the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator reported a more than 50% increase between May and July in the proportion of seafarers onboard vessels beyond their contract expiry.

With the fast-spreading delta variant, governments have tightened restrictions, closed borders and stopped crew changes, often imposing stricter requirements for seafarers than for citizens or other travellers despite the critical role seafarers play in global supply chains.

Key measures can help solve crisis

Protecting global supply chains and the wellbeing of seafarers will thus require governments to allow crew changes to take place in the safest manner possible. This can be done by implementing high-quality health protocols based on the highest practicable standards, such as The Recommended Framework of Protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,which has been recognized by the International Maritime Organization or the STAR Crew Change Protocols, which are based on existing best practice.

All stakeholders in the maritime logistics chain must also live up to their shared responsibility to ensure necessary crew changes can be carried out. No companies, including charterers, should use contracts prohibiting necessary changes, as has been frequently reported. Instead, ship owners and charterers should share relevant information transparently and collaborate to ensure that necessary crew changes can take place with the least impact possible in terms of cost and delays and high-quality health protocols should be implemented in line with the best practices developed by a group of leading charterers and described in the Neptune Declaration Best Practices for Charterers.

Vaccination programmes urgently needed

While allowing crew changes to take place in the current situation is necessary, it will only help alleviate the symptoms of the crisis. Resolving this crisis will require seafarers to have access to vaccines. There has been some progress as a limited number of international seafarers have started to get access to vaccines, for instance in the US where vaccination programmes are being rolled out for national and non-national seafarers. Nonetheless, the vast majority of seafarers, especially from developing countries, are still unable to be vaccinated.

Stakeholders from large seafaring nations, such as the Philippines, are reporting vaccine shortages and limited capacity. Meanwhile, some vaccinated seafarers also continue to face travel restrictions, constraining their ability to return home or travel to onboarding ports. It is therefore urgent that countries, who have spare doses of vaccines, prioritize international seafarers, whom close to 60 countries have designated as key workers, when allocating surplus vaccines.

Time for the global community to step up

Seafarers are the key workers supporting the more than 80% of global trade. In recent months we have seen the fragility of global supply chains with the temporary blockage of the Suez Canal and cessation of Yantian port operations. We have a responsibility as a global community to take action to protect the seafarers who play this crucial role in these very difficult circumstances, not just for the sake of the seafarers and their families, but also for the billions of people like us who are dependent on international shipping to bring the food, energy and manufactured goods that we all rely on in our daily lives.

Jeremy Nixon, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd

IMO adopts key mandatory measures to reduce ships’ carbon intensity

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International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopts key mandatory measures to reduce ships’ carbon intensity; establishes ship rating system

 

New mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of international shipping have been adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), setting shipping on a course to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets established in the 2018 Initial IMO Strategy for Reducing GHG Emissions from Ships.

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76), meeting in a remote session from 10 to 17 June 2021, adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI that will require ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These amendments combine technical and operational approaches to improve the energy efficiency of ships, also providing important building blocks for future GHG reduction measures.

The new measures will require all ships to calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) following technical means to improve their energy efficiency and to establish their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating. Carbon intensity links the GHG emissions to the amount of cargo carried over distance travelled.

Ships will get a rating of their energy efficiency (A, B, C, D, E – where A is the best). Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B also sending out a strong signal to the market and financial sector.

A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, is required to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the adoption of the new measures would build on IMO’s previously adopted mandatory energy efficiency measures, to lead shipping on the right path towards decarbonisation.

“The path to decarbonization is a long, but also a common path in which we need to consider and respect each other’s views. We have made a considerable amount of progress since the start of our journey,” Mr. Lim said, ” … your progress will continue to provide the benefit of experience to be able to make ambitious, and evidence-based decisions for phase 3 of the implementation of the operational measure which will be further strengthened and developed taking into account the review of the short-term measure and the latest climate science,” he added.

The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (adopted in a consolidated revised Annex VI) are expected to enter into force on 1 November 2022, with the requirements for EEXI and CII certification coming into effect from 1 January 2023. This means that the first annual reporting will be completed in 2023, with the first rating given in 2024.

A review clause requires the IMO to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements, by 1 January 2026 at the latest, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further amendments.

Impact assessment

In adopting the measure, MEPC also considered the outcomes of a comprehensive impact assessment of the measure which examined potential negative impacts on States, and agreed to keep the impacts on States of the measure under review so that any necessary adjustments can be made.

In adopting the amendments, the MEPC agreed in its resolution to undertake a lessons-learned exercise from the comprehensive impact assessment of the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, with a view to improving the procedure for conducting future impact assessments.

Secretary-General Lim welcomed the approval and consideration of the outcome of the related comprehensive impact assessment and the decision to keep impacts of the measure under review and to initiate a lessons-learned exercise.

MARPOL Annex VI has 100 Contracting States, who between them represent 96.65% of world merchant shipping by tonnage.

The MEPC also adopted a work plan to develop mid- and long-term measures to further cut shipping’s GHG emissions, in line with the Initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG from ships

Guidelines adopted

Alongside the MARPOL amendments, the MEPC adopted related guidelines to support the implementation of the amendments.  (full list below).

The guidelines include the 2021 Guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (CII Reduction factor Guidelines, G3). This includes the required reduction (Z) factor, which is set at a rate, relative to 2019, of 11% by 2026. This would  be further strengthened after that date, taking into account the review of the measure and latest climate science.

Meeting the initial GHG strategy ambition

The combined technical and operational measures, referred to as short term carbon intensity measures, are in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008.

The initial strategy sets out short- mid- and long-term measures. The measures just adopted fall into the short-term measures.

Future work

The MEPC discussed a number of submissions on how to progress the next stages of IMO’s work to cut GHG emissions from ships, leading to the revision of the initial GHG strategy in 2023.

The MEPC adopted a work plan on the concrete way forward to make progress with candidate mid- and long-term measures including measures to incentivize the move away from fossil fuels to low- and zero-carbon fuels to achieve decarbonization of international shipping.

A proposal initially considered by MEPC suggested a mandatory levy of $100 per tonne carbon dioxide equivalent on heavy fuel oil. This proposal will be further considered at the intersessional working group meeting in the context of the adopted workplan along with other proposals for mid-term measures.

The work plan envisages three phases:

  • Phase I – Collation and initial consideration of proposals for measures (Spring 2021 to spring 2022);
  • Phase II – Assessment and selection of measures(s) to further develop (Spring 2022 to spring 2023); and
  • Phase III – Development of(a) measure(s) to be finalized within (an) agreed target date(s).

Mr. Lim welcomed the adoption of the work plan.

“Concessions have been made on all sides in the interest of securing the framework we have in place. Our consideration of mid- and long-term measures will demand even more of us. I am very pleased that the Committee has agreed on a work plan to support carrying out this dimension of our work in a structured way that will keep the membership together,” Mr. Lim said.

“Agreement on the work plan sends the signal that the Organization and its Member States are ready to further consider the current and future proposals for mid-term measures. We need to gear up work relating to the various phases of the work plan in order to give efficient and adequate consideration to concrete proposals for the reduction of greenhouse gases in keeping with our goals in the initial strategy.  Let us continue to work together on the tasks you have in front of you as we continue to make progress on this common path,” he said.

IMRB proposal

The Committee had a non-exhaustive consideration of a proposal to establish an International Maritime Research Board, funded by a tax on oil fuel used by shipping. The discussion will resume at the Committee’s next session.

Correspondence Group and Intersessional Working Group

The MEPC approved the terms of reference for a Correspondence Group on Carbon Intensity Reduction and meetings of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 9 and ISWG-GHG 10). The ISWG-GHG 9 is expected to meet in September and ISWG-GHG 10 in October 2021, ahead of MEPC 77, which is scheduled to meet 8-12 November 2021.

MEPC 76 – other outcomes

The MEPC also adopted other amendments.

Prohibiting HFO in the Arctic

The MEPC adopted 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 prohibition will 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.

The amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/Pages/MEPC-75th-session.aspx.

Amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements

The MEPC adopted amendments to draft amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements.

The amendment specifies that the Administration may exempt a UNSP barge from the annual survey and certification requirements, for a period not exceeding 5 years provided that the UNSP barge has undergone a survey to confirm that certain conditions are met.

The amendments also provide the form for the International Oil Pollution Exemption Certificate for Unmanned Non-self-propelled Barges. The MEPC is also expected to approve a related circular on guidelines for exemption of UNSP barges.

The amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/Pages/MEPC-75th-session.aspx.

Amendments to AFS Convention – cybutrene

The MEPC adopted amendments to the IMO Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne.

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

The draft amendments were approved at MEPC 75, see https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/Pages/MEPC-75th-session.aspx.

Further information

Carbon intensity measures in detail

The short-term measure is aimed at meeting the target set in the IMO Initial GHG Strategy – to reduce carbon intensity of all ships by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. These will be mandatory measures under MARPOL Annex VI. They will bring in

  • Attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is required to be calculated for ships of 400 gt and above, in accordance with the different values set for ship types and size categories. This indicates the energy efficiency of the ship compared to a baseline. Ships are required to meet a specific required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which is based on a required reduction factor (expressed as a percentage relative to the EEDI baseline).
  • Annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.

The CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.  The actual annual operational CII achieved (attained annual operational CII) would be required to be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII.

This would enable the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined.  The rating would be given on a scale – operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E – indicating a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. The performance level would be recorded in the ship’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).

A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved.

Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B.

In simple terms, the short-term term measure are aimed at achieving the carbon intensity reduction aims of the IMO initial GHG Strategy.

They do this by requiring all ships to calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and to establish their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating

In other words, ships get a rating of their energy efficiency (A, B, C, D, E – where A is the best). A ship running on a low carbon fuel clearly gets a higher rating than one running on fossil fuel.

However, there are many things a ship can do to improve its rating through various measures, such as hull cleaning to reduce drag; speed and routeing optimization; installation of low energy light bulbs; installation of solar/wind auxiliary power for accommodation services; etc.

Guidelines

The following comprehensive set of guidelines, adopted by MEPC 76, support the new requirements:

  • 2021 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI);
  • 2021 Guidelines on survey and certification of the energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI);
  • 2021 Guidelines on the shaft / engine power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of a power reserve;
  • 2021 Guidelines on operational carbon intensity indicators and the calculation methods (CII Guidelines, G1);
  • 2021 Guidelines on the reference lines for use with operational Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII reference lines guidelines, G2);
  • 2021 Guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (CII Reduction factor Guidelines, G3);
  • 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4).

Read more: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Cutting-GHG-emissions.aspx

Updated COVID-19 measures in Chinese ports

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In response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in India, some ports in China have upgraded their epidemic prevention measures, the UK Club correspondents Huatai Marine advised.

Dalian and nearby ports

-Yingkou (Bayuquan):

Due to the recent epidemic locally, there is no additional requirement so far. However, a vessel ever berthed at an Indian port applied to call at Bayuquan recently, the application is still in the process of approval, but it is difficult to get approval.

-Dalian:

For vessels and crewmembers from abroad:

Nucleic acid testing including crewmembers and onboard environment is required.
The crewmembers must wear facial masks on deck.
-Dandong:

All the vessels from abroad are subject to nucleic acid testing to all crewmembers.
Cargo operation can only be started after the negative testing results are available.
-Huludao:

No additional requirements so far. However, a vessel ever berthed at an Indian port applied to call at Huludao last week. Due to the positive nucleic acid testing of several crewmembers, the application was not approved and the ship has sailed.

-Jinzhou:

For vessels from India, all crewmembers would be required to receive nucleic acid testing, and disinfection of the entire vessel would be required
Berthing operation can only be applied after the negative testing results are available.

Tianjin and nearby ports

-Caofeidian: In principle, no foreign vessels are permitted to board.

-Huanghua: No additional requirements so far. Need to consult with the agent case by case.

-Jingtang: In principle, no foreign vessels are permitted to board.

-Qinhuangdao: Since May, personnel other than stevedores are not allowed to board vessels which have recently changed Indian crew. The definition of “recently” should be confirmed with the agent on a case by case basis.

-Tianjin:

No boarding permission for vessels ever changed Indian crews within 14 days.
No boarding permission for vessels ever berthed/called at an Indian port within 14 days.
Boarding other foreign vessels that are defined as medium-risk vessels with secondary protection measures is permitted. Boarding stevedores are not permitted to enter the living area.
Change of Indian crews is prohibited.

Qingdao and nearby ports:

-Dongying: No additional requirements so far, but the agent is required to pay more attention to the crew change of Indian crews and the crew from Southeast Asian countries, and report in time. India and its neighboring countries mainly include: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

-Lanshan / Rizhao:

1. For vessels passing through/called at an Indian port, the requirements are as follows:

Advance notice to the authority is required. The vessel is allowed to berth after getting approval.
Crew changing is prohibited.
Any boarding person is required to have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Moreover, the boarding person has to be isolated after disembarkation until negative results of nucleic acid testing and serum test are available.
2. For vessels from UK, prevention measures refer to ships from India.

-Lianyungang: For vessels ever berthed or changed crew in India, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Thailand, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar within 21 days, Nucleic acid testing including crewmembers and
onboard environment is required.

-Qingdao:

1. For vessels from India or ever changed crew in India, the requirements are as follows:

(1) Records of port of call within the last four weeks must be truthfully filled in.
(2) Records of crew change and crew’s physical condition in last 30 days must be truthfully filled in. The travel history is also required to be remarked.

2. Report the following information to the quarantine officer before berthing:

(1) Whether the vessel has called at India.
(2) Whether the vessel has changed any crew from India or its neighboring countries.

3. If vessels ever called at an Indian port within 14 days, or changed crew in India or have any crewmembers from Indian or its neighboring countries (Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.) attended onboard within 14 days, the crewmembers would be required to receive nucleic acid testing.

-Weifang:

Except in extremely unusual circumstances, crew change is not permitted if the vessel ever passed through India, Nepal, Brazil, Malaysia and other countries particularly affected by the epidemic.

-Weihai:

1. For local epidemic prevention measures, please refer to Qingdao Port.
2. At Shidao port, if vessels ever called at an Indian port or changed Indian crew, berthing operation would not be permitted.

-Yantai:

1. No additional requirements so far.
2. Advance notice is required.

IMO agrees on guidelines to support new carbon intensity cutting measures

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An International Maritime Organization (IMO) working group has agreed a set of draft guidelines to support mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of all ships.  

The proposed mandatory measures have already been approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and are expected to be adopted when the MEPC meets for its 76th session from 10-17 June, 2021.  

The proposed amendments to the MARPOL Convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. 

These are two new measures: the technical requirement to reduce carbon intensity, based on a new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI); and the operational carbon intensity reduction requirements, based on a new operational carbon intensity indicator (CII).   

The dual approach aims to address both technical (how the ship is equipped and retrofitted ) and operational measures (how the ship operates).  

The Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 8), which met remotely from 24-28 May, agreed, for consideration by the Committee, with a view to adoption on the following comprehensive set of guidelines accompanying the new requirements: 

  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on survey and certification of the energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the shaft / engine power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of a power reserve; 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on operational carbon intensity indicators and the calculation methods (CII Guidelines, G1); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the reference lines for use with operational Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII reference lines guidelines, G2); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (CII Reduction factor Guidelines, G3); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4). 

The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI and this accompanying detailed set of guidelines provide important tools for Administrations and industry to implement the new requirements, and building blocks for future energy efficiency measures.  

CII reduction factor 

Under the draft MARPOL amendments, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above (the approximately 30,000 ships currently already subject to the requirement for data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships) have to determine their required annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII). The ship’s CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.  

The actual annual operational CII achieved (attained annual operational CII) would be required to be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII. This would enable the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined.   

A key element in the draft guidelines is the proposal for the CII reduction factor (the ‘Z-factor’), included in the draft guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (G3).  

The reduction rates are intended to achieve the levels of ambitions set out in the Initial Strategy, in particular, the 2030 level of ambition of reducing carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 2008 

The group put forward to the Committee the concept of a phased approach, which would see an annuasuccessive carbon intensity reduction rate of 2% compared to the 2019 reference line from 2023 (when the MARPOL amendments would enter into force) through to 2026 – at which time a review required under the draft MARPOL amendments would be undertaken to further strengthen the annual reduction rate 

CII rating  

The draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4) set the method to determine the rating boundaries. 

The rating would be given on a scale – operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E – indicating a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. The performance level would be recorded in the ship’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).  

Under the draft MARPOL amendments, a ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved.  

Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B.  

Correspondence group established 

The Working Group agreed to establish a Correspondence Group on Carbon Intensity Reduction, to: 

  • further consider and finalize the draft updated Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) 
  • further consider and update existing guidelines, procedures or guidance, including the 2017 guidelines related to the ship fuel oil data collection system; 
  • develop draft guidelines on correction factors for certain ship types, operational profiles and/or voyages for the CII calculations (G5) 
  • develop in new or existing guidelines specific guidance on the audit and verification processes of SEEMP as well apossible parameters and templates for reporting, verification and submission of data for trial CIIs of individual ships on voluntary basis  

Attained and required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)  

The attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is required to be calculated for every ship at its first survey following entry into force of the amendments. This indicates the energy efficiency of the ship compared to a baseline.   

Ships are required to meet a specific required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which is based on a required reduction factor (expressed as a percentage relative to the EEDI baseline).   

Review mechanism 

The draft amendments would require the IMO to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements, by 1 January 2026 at the latest, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further amendments. IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy is to be revised by 2023.  

Nigeria launched the Deep Blue Project in order to tackle piracy and maritime crime

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Nigeria launched the Deep Blue Project, in order to tackle piracy and maritime crime in its waterways and the Gulf of Guinea.

To support the project a Special Mission Aircraft was received, indicating the the final phase of the delivery and installation of assets under the Deep Blue Project.

Under this light, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, revealed a drastic reduction in the rate of attacks in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the deployment of the Deep Blue Project assets:

There has been a drastic decrease in the rate of security breaches in our waters in recent times. This is a clear indication that we are getting it right with the Deep Blue Project. The figures we are getting from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) are encouraging. We ultimately aim to completely eradicate security hindrances to shipping and business generally in the Nigerian maritime domain

According to the latest IMB quarterly report of piracy and armed robbery against ships recorded only two incidents in Nigerian waters between January and March this year, compared to 11 attacks within the same period last year.

The Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, popularly called the Deep Blue Project, is designed with three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security issues on land, sea, and air. The land assets comprise:

  • The Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection;
  • 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and about 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit;
  • On air, there are two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the EEZ
  • Three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue;
  • Four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
  • The sea assets consist of two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.

In the same wavelength, considering the attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea by Nigerian pirates, 99 maritime companies, organisations and flag states, have signed the Gulf of Guinea Declaration on Suppression of Piracy, which was launched on May 17.

MPA Singapore issued a circular focusing on COVID-19 safety requirements for vessels arriving in the Port of Singapore

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In light of the outbreak situation, all vessel’s crew must comply with the following while in the Port of Singapore:

  •  Wear a mask at all times (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn).
  • As far as is reasonably practicable, keep a distance of at least one metre apart from each other.
  • Take and record temperature twice daily.
  • Observe good personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly and refrain from touching your face.
  • Maintain good hygiene in the vessel’s accommodation areas by cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. desk, chart tables, dining tables, bridge/engine room consoles, door handles, handholds, switches, telephones/VHF handsets, faucets).

Measures for vessels when shore-based personnel are going onboard

The owner, master, or agent of the vessel in the port, must establish and apply procedures and adequate controls, to comply with the following:

  • All crew members and shore-based personnel must wear a mask4 at all times (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn) and, as far as is reasonably practicable, keep a distance of at least one metre apart from each other. In addition, the shore-based personnel must properly wear other appropriate personal protective equipment, where necessary, such as gloves and gown, without jeopardising operational and personal safety.
  • All crew members must take and record their temperature twice daily.
  • All crew members must maintain good hygiene in the vessel’s accommodation areas by cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. desk, chart tables, dining tables, bridge/engine room consoles, door handles, handholds, switches, telephones/VHF handsets, faucets, etc.)
  • The vessel must have a safe management plan for management of shore-based personnel boarding the vessel. Crew members to be briefed on the plan and to comply with the precautionary measures.
  • Unwell crew members and/or passengers must be isolated onboard the vessel.
  • Shore-based personnel who are unwell must be denied access to the vessel.
  • Records of all embarkation/disembarkation of shore-based personnel must be maintained.
  • Briefing on the safe management measures must be carried out for the shore-based personnel boarding the vessel and/or harbour craft and logged down for record purposes.
  • A responsible officer onboard must be appointed to monitor/ensure the compliance of safe management measures by all crew and shore-based personnel onboard his vessel.
  • Minimise interaction of crew with shore-based personnel as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Designate a separate, clean and disinfected place that is a fully enclosed as a rest area, and dedicated toilets for only shore-based personnel to use.
  • No loitering in the crew living or common areas.
  • Ensure that shore-based personnel do not remain onboard for a longer period than necessary to discharge their duties, and not in any case, stay onboard overnight.
  • Ensure that shore-based personnel do not consume any food or drinks from the ships’ stores.
  • Ensure that the shore-based personnel consumes only his/her own food or beverage that the shore-based personnel brought along, using his/her own utensils.
  • Ensure that shore personnel consume his/her own food or beverage in an area separate, and at a safe distance, from the crew.
  • Upon shore-based personnel disembarking the vessel, disinfect the areas that have been used and especially the frequently touched surfaces. The National Environment Agency’s guidance for disinfecting common areas and rooms should be followed.

Measures for shore-based personnel boarding a vessel in the Port of Singapore

Shore-based personnel boarding a vessel must comply with the following:

  • Must have a valid COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within the last 7 days as part of the rostered routine testing (RRT) programme before boarding the vessel.
  • If the shore-based personnel is not enrolled on a RRT programme, he/she must have a valid negative test result from a COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) within 48 hours prior to boarding a vessel. After disembarking, these shorebased personnel must take a PCR test between the 5th and 7th day, and a final PCR test on the 11th day.
  • Must check-in and check-out with the SmartEntry@Sea QR Code.
  • Must not board a vessel if he/she does not have (a) or (b), or did not check-in with the SmartEntry@Sea QR Code; in any case, shore-based personnel who are unwell must not board a vessel.
  • Must always wear a mask (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn). In addition, shore-based personnel must properly wear other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, and gown, without jeopardising operational and personal safety.
  • Must bring disinfectant and/or sanitiser to disinfect their equipment and/or tools before and after completion of work.
  • Must minimise interaction with the vessel’s crew, as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Must bring and consume his/her own food and beverages, using his/her own utensils; and consume his/her meals in an area separate, and at a safe distance, from the vessel’s crew.
  • Must not consume any food and beverages from the ships’ stores.
  • Must ensure a safe distance of at least 1 metre between himself or herself and any other individual on board.
  • Must not convene or take part in any gathering when on board except where necessary or in the course of the performance of his or her duties as shore-based personnel.
  • No loitering in the crew living or common areas.
  • Not remain onboard for a longer period than necessary to discharge his or her duties as a shore-based personnel, and not in any case, stay onboard overnight.
  • Staff employed/contracted by terminal operator to avoid using the toilets onboard when they board a vessel that is berthed alongside the terminal. Where possible, the terminal operator is to provide dedicated toilet facilities ashore for only shorebased personnel to use.

Panama Canal aims at carbon-neutrality by 2030

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The Panama Canal launched its process of decarbonizing its operations, with aims of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“We at the Panama Canal are committed to sustainability, and therefore are laying the foundation, creating the tools, and identifying the changes needed to achieve efficiencies that will allow us as an organization to reach carbon neutrality. This is a fundamental strategy for the waterway’s long-term operation and sustainability,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales. “This process will build on our long-standing efforts to minimize our environmental impact, including encouraging customers to use clean fuels and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Operational Actions

While the Panama Canal contributed to a reduction of more than 13 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2020 by offering a shorter route for ships in comparison to the most likely alternative routes, the waterway recognizes the importance of making its own operation carbon neutral by the end of the decade.

To kick off the transition to a greener Canal, the waterway purchased four electric vehicles as part of a pilot program that will collect data to inform the migration of the Canal’s entire fleet away from fossil fuel dependence. Part of its strategic decarbonization plan also includes tugboats and launches that use alternative fuels, the substitution of electricity production processes in favor of photovoltaic plants, the use of hydraulic energy, and ensuring that all facilities and infrastructure projects are environmentally responsible and sustainable.

The Panama Canal first began tracking its carbon footprint in 2013 to align its operations with the global objectives of reducing emissions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Its plans to become carbon neutral were bolstered in 2017 with the launch of its Emissions Calculator, a tool that not only allows shipping lines to measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per route, but also strengthens the Canal’s analysis of the emissions produced by its own day-to-day operations.

To reduce its own impact, the Panama Canal has also taken steps to find ways to maximize its operational, and thus environmental efficiencies, whether by implementing water conservation measures or optimizing transits. Panama’s Maritime Single Window (VUMPA) has improved the efficiency and carbon footprint of transshipment procedures by streamlining logistics paperwork for international customers passing through the country, saving up to 3,260 hours and over 300,000 paper forms each year.

In addition, the Panama Canal also joined on April 22, on Earth Day, the Declaration of the “50 First Carbon-Neutral Organizations”, an initiative led by Panama’s Ministry of Environment to integrate national efforts to accelerate measurable climate actions.

As part of the new national initiative, the Canal will develop an annual greenhouse gas inventory, as well as an action plan with measurable targets to reduce emissions. The Canal’s efforts will be factored into Panama’s National Determined Contribution (NDC), established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), following the Paris Agreement.

The Value of the Green Route

The Panama Canal’s efforts have since stretched beyond tracking to include initiatives aimed at helping and incentivizing shipping lines to minimize their environmental footprint. Through its Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program, the Canal recognizes customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship, including the use of low-carbon fuels and environmentally conscious routes. As an enhancement to this program, the Panama Canal is currently analyzing taking into account in its dynamic pricing strategy the vessels’ technology and its carbon footprint, which makes it more efficient during transit.

The Panama Canal also promotes the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) efforts to minimize the environmental impact of the shipping industry, from the implementation of its IMO 2020 regulation to its nearby transit separation schemes and vessel speed reduction programs. By supporting the latter, for example, the Canal helps shipping lines reduce their risk of colliding with whales migrating near the waterway, while also lowering their GHG and pollutant gas emissions by an average of 75%, depending on the type, size, and fuel of each vessel.

Sustainability of the Watershed

Through environmental programs in its watershed, the Panama Canal has contributed to Panama’s ranking as one of only three carbon negative countries in the world, meaning Panama’s forests absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than the country emits.

For over a decade, the waterway has partnered with communities in the watershed to ensure their sustainable use of the area’s natural resources, while bolstering their quality of life.

One of the Canal’s core programs is the Environmental Economic Incentives Program, or PIEA in Spanish, which provides local farmers with resources, from land titles to agroforestry training, that enable them to sustainably develop, reforest, and protect land in the local watershed. As a result, the Panama Canal and watershed communities have together reforested more than 12,000 hectares.

Source: Panama Canal Authority