MEPC - 3+1 category system for noxious liquid substances agreed

Discussions in MEPC have culminated in a compromise proposal that INTERTANKO believes is not only a sensible solution but will also ensure a greater protection to the marine environment than exists today.

INTERTANKO has been supporting the introduction of a new three-category system to replace the current five categories of noxious liquid substances (A, B, C, D and Appendix III). INTERTANKO has been keen to see all noxious products categorised and regulated and therefore to see an end to Appendix III, which contains noxious products to which the IBC Code does not apply and which are therefore unregulated. INTERTANKO’s press release on its position was widely reported on the eve of MEPC.

INTERTANKO has participated this week in an informal Working Group established by MEPC finally to determine the number of pollution categories. The end result is a proposal to introduce a 3-category system (X, Y, Z) plus an additional new category (the 3+1 category system) for other substances that are harmless to the environment as evaluated by GESAMP/EHS.

To help obtain missing toxicity data for the IMO from the vegoil industry, as requested by BLG 8 to speed up the re-categorisation process, INTERTANKO has established contact with FOSFA (Federation of Oil Seeds and Fats Association) and entered into a dialogue to achieve a better understanding of the vegoil industry’s particular problems. Dialogue and understanding between the vegoil industry and the IMO have both improved. This has ensured that the issue of amending Annex II could be progressed at IMO.

Pre-wash requirements for vegoils were an important part of the discussions this week. A large proportion of the pre-wash requirements for Category Y products, which include vegoils, can be overcome by allowing an increase in the unloading temperature which lowers viscosity and reduces clingage.

Some product data still remains outstanding, especially on vegoils. MEPC asked for this data to be supplied as soon as possible. But it was also agreed by MEPC that if the data was not forthcoming then the products listed in Information Paper 23 would not be included in the IBC Code. This important information has been communicated to FOSFA and will be sent by INTERTANKO to the National Institute of Oilseed Products (NIOP) in the US.

Obtaining full product data is critical because any product not listed in the IBC Code cannot be transported in bulk.

Contact: Howard Snaith