MARPOL’s Annex VI on Air Pollution fully ratified at last

At last Annex VI of MARPOL 73/78 has been fully ratified and finally enters into force next year on 19 May 2005, setting limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and prohibiting deliberate ozone-depleting emissions.

These Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, which were adopted more than six years ago in September 1997, have been the subject of considerable effort by INTERTANKO, which has worked with the other shipowners’ organisations to provide the last push necessary for full ratification – including a personal letter sent last summer to key ministers urging them to sign up. Samoa’s ratification now brings the number of ratifying states to the required 15 states with over 50% (actually 54.57%) of world merchant shipping tonnage.

Marpol Annex VI regulates the emission into the atmosphere of specified pollutants from ships by limiting the discharge of nitrogen oxides from larger marine diesel engines; governing the sulphur content of marine diesel fuel; prohibiting the emission of ozone-depleting compounds during the transfer of cargoes between tankers and terminals; setting standards for shipboard incinerators and fuel oil quality; and establishing requirements for platforms and drilling rigs at sea. Click here for the full background.

The IMO’s Secretary-General, welcoming progress on Annex VI, took the opportunity to urge governments to ratify other IMO pollution prevention instruments such as the Anti-fouling Convention of 2001 (only 8 out of 25 ratifications so far with 25% of the world’s tonnage) and the recently-adopted Ballast Water Convention.

Contact: Dragos Rauta