Following the conclusion of the 71st session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting, ABS hosted multiple seminars across the globe, providing deeper insight on the activities and outcomes of MEPC 71.
More than 400 seminar attendees received the latest information on the outcomes of MEPC 71, including an update on the new timeline and requirements for compliance with the D-2 biological standard under the Ballast Water Management Convention, the establishment of new Emission Control Areas (ECAs), guidelines for verification of fuel oil data collection and other air emission-related topics. The seminars served as a platform for owners, operators and other industry stakeholders to come together and discuss how the changes made during MEPC 71 will impact their fleets and operations.
Most attendees in the seminars welcomed the news of a delay in the ballast water management implementation scheme but raised questions on the best approach to compliance for their unique fleets. Allowance of deharmonization of IOPP surveys and what will be required by the flag administrations was a focus for many. Additionally, there were a number of positive comments on the replacement of G8 guidelines with the Code for Approval for Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) which is expected to provide transparency and expand the robustness of BWMS testing, increasing confidence in the operation of these systems.
Since MEPC 71, owners and operators are exploring their options and trying to understand the best path toward compliance with the adjusted timelines for having an approved ballast water management system on board their vessels. With its broad background in the available ballast water management technologies and experience in the marine sector, ABS is well-prepared to provide guidance that owners may use to assist them in making smarter fleet and operational decisions.
Seminars were held in Athens, Greece; Hong Kong; Singapore; Shanghai; Hamburg, Germany; Leer, Germany; and Limassol, Cyprus. Seminars were led by ABS’ Thomas Kirk and Stamatis Fradelos, both part of the ABS Global Marine organization and key leaders in environmental performance. Both were also in attendance at MEPC 71, Thomas Kirk served in an advisory role for the US delegation and Stamatis Fradelos led the IACS delegation during the working group on Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency. Their background and participation at MEPC 71 helped inform the presentations and drive the agenda during each ABS seminar.