MEPC#48 - MARPOL ANNEX II REVISIONS A 3- OR 5-TIER

Despite protracted debate in Plenary which resulted in the formation of an informal working group to attempt to reach a compromise, the decision to opt for either a 3-tier system or a revised 5-tier system had still not been reached at the time of writing this article.

Members have previously been advised regarding the continuing work within IMO over the last 9 years on the Revision of MARPOL Annex II

 

This Revision is scheduled for adoption in 2005 with an entry into force date of 2007.

 

However, a large portion of this work comprises a re-assessment by GHS/GESAMP of the safety and pollution aspects of each Noxious Liquid Substance within MARPOL and the IBC Code. The work is currently about 90% complete with Veg Oils being some of the last substances to be re-evaluated.

 

Thereafter a simplification of MARPOL Annex II will be carried out by revising the number of pollution categories from the current 5 (ABCD & Appendix III) to either a revised 5-tier system or a 3-tier system (XYZ).

 

It is important to note that if a 5-tier system is retained it will not be the same as the current 5-tier system because all the products re-evaluated by GHS/GESAMP will be in different categories. This has caused a lot of confusion and misunderstanding at IMO this week amongst some Member States.

 

MEPC48 was asked to take a well informed decision and decide which system should be utilised for the future - a 3- or 5-system.

 

INTERTANKO, along with other Industry associations and the Netherlands, is strongly in favour of a revised 3-tier system. This would ensure that the revised Annex II will be robust enough for the future to provide enhanced protection of the marine environment by regulating all noxious substances, whilst at the same time being easier to understand by those using the IBC Code, and easier to implement.

 

However, despite protracted debate in Plenary which resulted in the formation of an informal working group to attempt to reach a compromise, the matter was still unresolved at the time of writing this article. MEPC will decide on Friday 11 October how to move forward with this issue, and thereafter a full report will be given in next week’s Weekly NEWS.

 

INTERTANKO’s submission to IMO this week in support of a 3-tier system can be downloaded from here.

 

For further background information, a presentation was given on the subject at the recent Latin America Panel meeting in Houston, which can be downloaded together with the powerpoint presentation from here. (dated 23.09.02).

 

Contact: Howard Snaith, e-mail: howard.snaith@intertanko.com