U.S. proposed phase-out of existing pollution prevention equipment postponed by MEPC 56

The U.S. proposed to The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee 56th session (MEPC 56) the mandatory phase-out of oily water separators and oil discharge monitoring systems complying with resolutions MEPC.60(33) and A.586(14) respectively, which had been superseded by resolutions MEPC.107(49) and MEPC.108(49). A five-year phase-out period was suggested in order to allow for the change of equipment during dry-docking; draft amendments to regulations 14.6, 14.7 and 31.2 of MARPOL Annex I were provided as a means to implement the phase-out.


A majority of Flag Administrations could not agree with the U.S. proposal to phase-out and replace, within five years, existing oil pollution prevention equipment with modern equipment complying with resolutions MEPC.107(49) and MEPC.108(49). However there was a general support for the upgrading of equipment and compliance with agreed maintenance standards, although the five year timeframe was judged to be too early.


MEPC 56 was reminded the work of the Design and Equipment (DE) Sub-committee on the review of MEPC.1/Circ.511 and relevant MARPOL Annex I and Annex VI requirements. This work is undergoing now through a correspondence group. Therefore, MEPC 56 agreed to refer the discussion to the Design and Equipment Sub-Committee and instructed it to examine: (a) the practicalities and time scale for the proposed phase-out; (b) the possible upgrading of existing equipment and the development of an appropriate standard for such an upgrade; and (c) the need to address in-service maintenance issues for all pollution prevention equipment under MARPOL.


Contact: Dragos Rauta