Recap: IMO PPR 7

Highlights from the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response, held in London from 17 to 21 February 2020 and attended by SYBAss.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) held its seventh session in London from 17 to 21 February 2020. This annual meeting deals with all matters relating to pollution prevention and response which falls within IMO’s remit, including the control and management of harmful aquatic organisms in ships’ ballast water and the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. Lorenzo Pollicardo, SYBAss’ Technical and Environmental Director, was in attendance and ensured that member interests were well-represented on the global regulatory stage. He also attended two working groups held during the week.

The main developments from the meeting included the finalisation of the 2020 guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), developing a basis for work to determine the impact of EGCS discharge water on the environment.

The sub-committee also revised the guidance for ballast water sampling and analysis by updating the compliance testing and indicative analysis (now necessary only for organism).

Amendments to Annex 1 of the Anti-Fouling System Convention were agreed upon, including a ban to apply anti-fouling systems containing cybutryne from 1 July 2022. The date of removal for such anti-fouling systems was also debated. Two alternative options for timing will be proposed at the next Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in April 2020.

The sub-committee continued the work on the reduction of the impact of black carbon emissions on the Arctic. A correspondence group was established to conduct additional research. Also, a new MARPOL Annex was drafted, prohibiting the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic from 1 July 2024, with different date options for states with an Arctic coastline. The proposal will be subjected to MEPC approval.

SYBAss members will soon receive, as usual, a detailed report on the IMO sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response meeting.