Technical Circular No: 85/2020


IMO vide Resolutions, MEPC.314 (74), MEPC.316 (74), and MEPC.317 (74) has adopted amendments to MARPOL and the NOx Technical Code allowing Electronic Record Books (ERBs) to be used instead of hard copy record books. The amendments will enter into force from 1st October 2020. Associated guidelines for the use of MARPOL ERBs were also adopted vide IMO Resolution MEPC.312 (74).

An Electronic Record Book is a software application designed to replace the traditional paper record books and facilitate accurate entries into an efficient electronic format, while complying with international Conventions and flag State requirements.

ERBs may be used on board to meet the following record book and recording requirements under the MARPOL Annexes and the NOx Technical Code:

Oil Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex I, Regulations 17.1 and 36.1);

Cargo Record Book (MARPOL Annex II, Regulation 15.1);

Garbage Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex V, Regulation 10.3);

Ozone-depleting Substances (ODS) Record Book (MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 12.6);

Recording of the tier and on or off status of marine diesel engines (MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 13.5.3);

Record of Fuel Oil Changeover (MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.6); and

Record Book of Engine Parameters (NOx Technical Code, paragraph

Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) has developed an electronic version of Oil Record Book Part I & Part II in form of a software named “IR Scribe” to enable entries for machinery space operations as well as Cargo/Ballast operations as per Marpol Annex I Reg.17 & 36. “IR Scribe” has been developed taking into the guidelines included in MEPC.312 (74). Marshall Island Flag Administration has approved the “IR-Scribe” for its use on Marshall Island Flag Vessels vide their Marine Notice No. 7-041-5.

When the electronic record book is proposed to be used on board a ship, based on request from Company, the Administration will issue a ‘Declaration of MARPOL Electronic Record Book(s)’ which must be kept on board for presentation to duly authorised officials when requested. The procedures related to the use of ERBs must be documented in the Safety Management System.

Ship owners/ operators are advised to be guided by above..


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ELECTRONIC RECORD BOOKS (ERB) FOR SHIPS,Oil Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex I, Regulations 17.1 and 36.1)

Classification society DNV said it has recently approved several projects for digital infrastructure solutions developed by COSCO, Kongsberg Digital and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

According to DNV, digitalization of the maritime industry is set to radically enhance the operational efficiency, safety and environmental performance of ships, but right now is taking place in a fragmented way, with no pan-industry alignment on data infrastructure reliability and data quality in compliance with global standards.

As ships get smarter and increasingly packed with sensors, the central on-board servers gather data from components and systems that typically feature different types of data infrastructure. Lack of standardization means data cannot be combined in a uniform way, leading to a lack of trust in protocols for data transfer and security, DNV said.

DNV said its recently published D-INF (data collection infrastructure and vessel connectivity) class notation notation addresses this key challenge by setting out the requirements for the complete data collection infrastructure, including onboard data servers, data relay components and remote data servers, covering the full ship-to-shore communication framework.

“The pandemic together with the drive to decarbonize have triggered a renaissance in the maritime industry, as we see greater and deeper adoption of digital solutions to ensure safe, sustainable and efficient operations,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime.

“The key to maximizing the potential of these digital technologies and strategies is to enable companies to more easily build trust in them. One such solution is the adoption of our D-INF notation, which is a key element on the road to standardized infrastructure and effective digital transformation. I thank COSCO, Kongsberg Digital and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for choosing DNV as their partner in their digital transformation journeys.”

“With D-INF we are curating trust that the data gathered from the ship is the actual data that has been confirmed through a verified pipeline. This is vital for owners to build trust among value-chain stakeholders ranging from class and reporting authorities to insurance providers, financiers, cargo owners and charterers,” said Jarle Coll Blomhoff, Group leader Cyber Safety & Security at DNV.

DNV implemented the notation as part of approval in principle (AIP) projects – the first stage of formal type approval – newly granted to Chinese shipping group COSCO SHIPPING, Korea shipbuilder SHI and technology vendor Kongsberg Digital for flagship digital solutions.

The COSCO SHIPPING pilot formed part of a wider project with DNV to develop an onshore smart ship data management center to aggregate data from a large range of vessels across its huge fleet. The project with SHI focused on the infrastructure and data stream of its SVESSEL BIG system, while the Kongsberg pilot confirmed its Vessel Insight solution providing value-adding digital services for customers.

“We are pleased to be the first Korean shipbuilder to have received AIP from DNV for data infrastructure in compliance with the recent ISO standards. This standardization lays the groundwork for improved operational efficiency and flexibility for ship operators while enhancing our competitiveness in the digitalization market,” said Oh Sung-Il Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Sales Division from SHI.

“The most important aspect of data collection from a vessel is to keep and protect the integrity of the vessel operation. This is why we invest a lot in cyber security and class validation audit and verification. As D-INF(P) is the first type approval certificate of its kind under DNV Class, we are very proud to lead the way and get a certificate that proves that our product is of the highest level of quality and can be trusted by existing and potential clients and partners,” Sondre Mortensvik, VP Digital Ocean in Kongsberg Digital.

“As an operator, it is crucial for our operational efficiency and safety to get up-to-date information about individual vessels and systems, as well as fleet. Such data is a valuable and cautious asset which can be used to improve logistical efficiency of the whole supply chain. We believe our COSCO SHIPPING operational center, which has been developed under close cooperation with DNV since 2019, will be key in realizing this, however we need access to standardized data to make this happen,” said Dong Guoxiang, Deputy Chief Engineer of SSSRI from COSCO SHIPPING GROUP.

Blomhoff added: “D-INF is the first step in moving the industry towards best practice in data exchange. Piloting the notation from three complementary angles – shipbuilder, ship operator and technology vendor – is unique and sets the standard for digital transformation in shipping.”

DNV said it is offering D-INF as a key enabler of efficiency for digital class customers worldwide. The convenience of digital verification services will depend on the ability to transmit trusted data. It also means owners can buy a vessel knowing that all the digital elements communicate to each other from delivery.

“Collecting data in a common infrastructure is a major step forward, especially in the case of large fleets. In addition, the infrastructure only has to be verified once for many different uses, allowing data from multiple sources to be shared with stakeholders and systems across all operations. It is also a powerful enabler of data analytics for enhanced vessel and fleet management and performance,” according to Blomhoff.

The notation can be obtained both as a proprietary D-INF(P) and standardized D-INF (S) solution, providing added flexibility for customers also to assure existing ship-to-shore solutions.


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