Charting the 2019 maritime regulatory landscape

April 8, 2019 GENERAL

Charting the 2019 maritime regulatory landscape

Siddharth Mahajan, Loss Prevention Executive, Gard, Singapore has noted in an article that the marine industry “saw a plethora of regulations come into force during 2018”, with no slowing-down in 2019. Regulations related to crew, life and fire safety, environment, cargo, and certification would be implemented in the course of this year.

1 January 2019

Resolution A.1116(30): Escape Route Signs and Equipment Location Markings

To ensure uniformity of safety signs with ISO standards, the IMO has introduced updated signs and graphic symbols that should be used to mark the location of means of escape, life-saving systems, and mandatory action signs for launching lifesaving equipment. Safety signs and equipment location markings are now harmonized with the ISO standards.

Resolution MEPC.286(71): Information to be included in bunker delivery note

The existing bunker delivery note (BDN) limits the supplier’s declaration to stating that the fuel oil supplied conforms with MARPOL Annex regulation 14.1, which reduces the global limit from 3.5% to 0.5% from 1 January 2020, or regulation 14.4 covering limits for emission control areas. It does not accommodate the supply of high sulphur fuel oil to vessels installed with scrubbers or those with an exemption. Text of the BDN was therefore amended to allow for such supply. A selection box has been introduced stating the purchaser’s specified limit of sulphur content. The text of the selection box in the new BDN also obliges the bunker supplier to obtain a notification from the purchaser that fuel is intended to be used in compliance with MARPOL, if the fuel supplied exceeds the 0.5% sulphur limit.

Resolution MEPC.286(71): Designation of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea Emission Control Areas for NOX Tier III control

The Baltic Sea and North Sea emission control areas (ECA) will be extended to cover NOx in addition to SOx. Engines whose power output exceeds 130kw installed on vessels constructed on or after 01 January 2021 must be Tier III certified if operating inside these two areas. The regulation also applies to non-identical replacement engines or additional engines installed on existing ships on or after 1 January 2021. From 1 January 2019, all the four ECAs; the Baltic Sea, North Sea, North America and US Caribbean, will cover both SOx and NOx.

Resolution MSC.426(98): Amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk cargoes (IMSBC) code

New individual schedules for some cargoes have been introduced and some existing ones have been revised. Most notably, coal will now be classified as both Group A and B cargo unless otherwise tested.

Resolution MEPC.278(70) and Resolution MEPC 282(70): IMO Data Collection System (DCS) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP Part II)

All ships of 5,000 gross tonnes and above and engaged in international voyages should collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work, in accordance with the procedures mentioned in SEEMP Part II, which is to be approved by 31 December 2018.

Domestic emissions control requirements in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

China: From 1 January 2019 vessels must switch to fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% prior to entering China’s territorial sea. Other key dates until 2020 are:

From 1 July 2019, vessels other than tankers capable of receiving shore power should use shore power.

From 1 January 2020, vessels entering Inland ECAs (Yangtze River and Xi Jiang River) must use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10% while operating within the Inland ECA.

Taiwan: Ships not fitted with scrubbers must burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% when entering its international commercial port areas. Our Gard Alert on the introduction of low sulphur limits in Taiwan can be read here.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s current Fuel at Berth Regulation requiring ships to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% while at berth will be replaced by a regulation extending the standard to ships operating in Hong Kong waters. Ships not fitted with scrubbers will be required to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% within Hong Kong waters, irrespective of whether they are sailing or at berth.

China Regulation on Data Collection for Energy Consumption of Ships (RDCECS)

Ships of 400 GT or over, or powered by main propulsion machinery greater than 750 kW of propulsion power calling a port in China should report energy consumption data of last voyage to China MSA before leaving a port.  Vessels are advised to report the data through the local agents as the web based platform which is to be used is currently available only in Chinese language.

8 January 2019

2016 Amendments to Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC): Amendments related to Regulations 4.3 and 5.1

Regulation 4.3: The MLC Guideline B4.3.1, concerning the provisions on occupational accidents, injuries and diseases, is amended such that implications for health and safety will also include harassment and bullying.

Regulation 5.1: Standard A5.1.3 was amended to allow an extension of the validity of the Maritime Labour (ML) Certificate for not more than five months in circumstances where ships have passed the renewal inspection but a new full term ML Certificate cannot be issued immediately and provided on board. The new certificate will remain valid for a period not exceeding five years from the date of the existing one.

9 April 2019

Resolution FAL.12(40): Electronic exchange of information

In accordance with the 2016 amendments to FAL Convention, electronic exchange of information will be mandatory for public authorities with a transition period of no less than 12 months from the date of the introduction of such systems.

30 April 2019

EU MRV shipping Regulation 2015/757: submission of CO2 emissions report

Companies must submit to the EU Commission and to the authorities of the flag States concerned, an emissions report concerning the CO2 emissions and other relevant information for the entire reporting period for each ship under their responsibility, which has been verified as satisfactory by a verifier. By 30 June 2019 all vessels must carry a document of compliance onboard.

1 June 2019

Resolution MEPC.275(69): Baltic Sea special area

Passenger ships must not discharge untreated sewage in the Baltic Sea in accordance with the below implementation schedule. To discharge treated sewage, ships must have onboard an approved  sewage treatment plant meeting the requirements set out in Resolution MEPC.227(64). Alternatively, they should have a sewage holding tank of adequate capacity.

30 June 2019

EU MRV shipping Regulation 2015/757: Carriage of Document of Compliance (DOC)

Ships arriving at or departing from an EU port and which have carried out voyages during that reporting period must carry onboard a DOC issued by an accredited verifier. The DOC shall be valid for a period of 18 months from the end of the reporting period and must include the following information:

1 July 2019

Resolution MSC.338(91): New requirements for compressed air breathing apparatus used in fire fighting

Compressed air breathing apparatus on ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall be fitted with an audible alarm and a visual or other device that will alert the wearer before the volume of the compressed air in the cylinder has been reduced to no less than 200 litres. Compliance shall be verified at the first safety equipment survey on or after 1 July 2019.

MSC.1/Circ.1594: Amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual

Besides other significant updates to Vol.III of the manual, a new section has been introduced on search and rescue by maritime rescue services in times of armed conflict. In accordance with SOLAS regulation V/21, vessels should be supplied with up-to-date copies of the IAMSAR Manual Vol.III. Crew members should be informed of the changes introduced in the new version of the publication.

Amendments to the Performance Standards for EGC and NAVTEX Equipment

MSC.430(98) contains amendments to the performance standards for EGC (Enhanced Group Call) and MSC.431(98) for NAVTEX. This equipment is required to be onboard as per SOLAS IV/7 and it must meet the relevant performance standards in SOLAS IV/14. Equipment installed on or after 1 July 2019, should be type approved in accordance with the SOLAS IV/14 performance standards.

Domestic emissions control area in China: use of shore power

Vessels, other than tankers, capable of receiving shore power, must use shore power if they berth for more than three hours in ports in the Coastal ECA that have shore power capabilities and more than two hours in ports with such capabilities in the Inland ECAs.

1 September 2019

Resolution MEPC.301(72): Required EEDI for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships

Following the IMO being made aware of problems in meeting EEDI requirements for ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships, the IMO has decided to increase the reference line, defined as a baseline EEDI for each ship type, representing reference EEDI as a function of ship size, by 20% and to introduce a deadweight threshold value. This new reference line comes into force on 1 September 2019.

13 October 2019

Resolution MEPC.296(72): Resolution MEPC.297(72): Implementation schedule of ballast water management for ships

The Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS Code) is introduced based on G8 Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems. There is no change in technical content between the new code and G8 guidelines. The latter will be revoked once the BWMS Code comes into force. The BWMS Code is contained in MEPC.300(72).

Resolution MEPC.297(72): Implementation schedule of ballast water management for ships

Amended Regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management Convention was adopted by the IMO at the MEPC 72 and comes into force on 13 October 2019. The implementation schedule for compliance with D-2 biological standard remains unchanged

Resolution MEPC.299(72):  Endorsements of additional surveys on the International Ballast Water Management Certificate

Regulation E-1 of the Ballast Water Management Convention was amended to clarify that additional surveys will require endorsement on BWM certificate. Regulation E-5 was also amended to clarify that requirements for Annual survey schedule also applies to Intermediate surveys.