MEPC Adopts Regulations On Energy Efficiency For Ships—Will Result In Reductions In Fuel Consumption And GHG Emissions From Ships


The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee ("MEPC") recently adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships ("MARPOL") Annex VI—Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution—establishing energy efficiency standards for ships. The amendments were adopted on July 15, 2011 at MEPC's 62nd session and are the first mandatory requirements arising out of the IMO's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions from international shipping. MEPC had approved several voluntary measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships in 2009 while a working group continued to develop technical, operational, and market based measures to reduce GHG emissions. The Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships, which can be found in the new Chapter 4 added to Annex VI, require that ships attain a certain Energy Efficiency Design Index ("EEDI") and develop and implement a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan ("SEEMP"). In addition, each ship covered by the regulations will be required to obtain an International Energy Efficiency ("IEE") Certificate. The new requirements apply to new ships or ships that undergo a major conversion. In accordance with MARPOL, the Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships will be deemed to have been accepted on July 1, 2012 unless one-third of the parties or parties with combined merchant fleets constituting not less than 50% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant fleet object to the amendments. The regulations will enter into force on January 1, 2013.

Applicability of Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships

The new regulations will apply to all ships over 400 gross tons. New ships must be designed and constructed to meet a required EEDI. A new ship is a ship when: (1) the shipbuilding contract is placed on or after January 1, 2013, (2) in the absence of a shipbuilding contract, the keel is laid on or after July 1, 2013, or (3) a delivery is made on or after July 1, 2015. Moreover, existing ships that undergo a major conversion must meet the required EEDI. A major conversion means a conversion: (1) which substantially alters the dimensions, carrying capacity, or engine power of the ship, (2) which changes the type of the ship, (3) which is intended to substantially prolong the life of the ship, or (4) which otherwise so alters the ship that it becomes subject to EEDI provisions.

The regulations allow a party administrator to waive compliance with the required EEDI...

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