Skip to content

January 2023 IMO regulatory update

MS Amlin has summarized some new and amended IMO regulations, which are coming into force in 2023 and beyond.

  • IMO EEXI and CII measures
  • The Mediterranean Sea becoming a SECA
  • Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention)
  • Amendments to the Anti-Fouling System Convention
  • Amendments to the IMSBC Code
  • Amendments to the ESP Code

IMO EEXI and CII measurers came into effect on January 1st 2023.
New mandatory measures to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping have been adopted by the IMO. Part of these new measures are the requirements for EEXI and CII certification, which came into effect on January 1st 2023. As a result of the new rules, ships must calculate their attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) in order to measure their energy efficiency. Moreover, ships have to start collecting data to issue reports on their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.

A ship’s attained EEXI indicates its energy efficiency compared to a baseline and to a required EEXI based on an applicable reductor factor expressed as a percentage relative to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) baseline. The EEXI must be calculated for ships with a gross tonnage of 400 gt or more, in accordance with the different values set for ship types and size categories. The calculated attained EEXI value for each individual ship must be below the required EEXI, to ensure the ship meets a minimum energy efficiency standard.

The CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of a ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level. The actual annual operational CII achieved must be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII. This enables the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined. The CII applies to ships with a gross tonnage of 5,000 gt or more.

The first annual reports will be completed in 2023, with initial ratings given in 2024.

The Mediterranean Sea to become a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in 2025.
At its 79th session in December 2022, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) established the Mediterranean Sea Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA), where the emission of sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter will be regulated. This was the result of an amendment to Annex VI (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which designated the entire Mediterranean Sea as a SECA. This is similar to the previously established Emission Control Areas (ECA) such as the Baltic Sea area, the North Sea area, the North American area, and the US Caribbean area.

The amendment will come into force on May 1st 2025, from which date the Mediterranean Sea will become an area where sulphur emissions are controlled to minimise airborne pollution from
vessels. It means that any ship sailing in or passing through that area, irrespective of flag, will have to switch to marine fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.10% m/m (mass by mass) instead of the current level of 0.50% m/m.

Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
Amendments to the STCW Convention 1978 – MSC.486(103).

The amendment to Regulation I/1.1 of the 1978 STCW Convention concerns the references to ‘high-voltage’, which is now defined as an alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) voltage in excess of 1,000 volts. The new definition will apply in the cases where there is a minimum standard of competence that uses the term ‘high-voltage’.

Amendments to Part A of the STCW Code – MSC.487(103) This amendment includes electro-technical officers (ETOs) in the definition of the term ‘operational level’. Standards of competence for ETOs were provided at the operations level, but the definition of the term operational level did not include ETOs. This has now been amended.

Amendments to the Anti-Fouling System Convention (AFS)
In accordance with the amendments made to the AFS Convention, the anti-fouling systems containing cybutryne may no longer be applied or reapplied to ships as of January 1st 2023. Ships bearing an AFS that contains cybutryne in the external coating layer of their hulls or external parts or surfaces on January 1st 2023 must either:

  • remove the anti-fouling system; or
  • apply a coating that forms a barrier to this substance leaching from the underlying non-compliant AFS.

Ships must comply with the amendments by the next scheduled renewal of the anti-fouling system after January 1st 2023, but in any case no later than 60 months from the previous application of an anti-fouling system containing cybutryne.

The following vessels are exempted from the above requirements:

  • fixed and floating platforms, FSUs, and FPSOs constructed prior to January 1st 2023 that have not been in drydock since January 1st 2023;
  • vessels not engaged in international voyages; and
  • vessels with a gross tonnage of 400 gt or less engaged in international voyages, if accepted by the Coastal State(s).

Amended Annex 4 of the AFS Convention also provides a revised International Anti-fouling System (IAFS) Certificate format. Based on verification of compliance to the amended requirements, an updated IAFS Certificate will be issued.

Amendments to the IMSBC Code
The following amendments (06-21) to the IMSBC Code are expected to come into force in 2023.

New cargo schedules for the following Group B cargoes have been added:

  • Ammonium nitrate-based fertiliser – MHB
  • Leach residue containing lead
  • Superphosphate (triple, granular) (Group B)

The following individual cargo schedules have been deleted:

  • Ammonium nitrate-based fertiliser (non-hazardous)
  • Superphosphate (triple, granular) (Group C)

Amendments related to the requirements for cargoes which undergo dynamic separation:

  • Section 1: Definitions.
  • Section 4: Assessment of acceptability of consignments for safe shipment.
  • Section 7: Cargoes which may liquefy.
  • Section 8: Test procedures for cargoes which may liquefy.
  • Section 9: Materials possessing chemical hazards.
  • Amendments to Appendix 1:
  • Individual schedules
  • Laboratory test procedures
  • PropertiesIndex
  • Shipping names

For more details on the amendments and a full list of the new cargoes added, see IMO Resolution MSC.500(105) – Amendments to the IMSBC Code.

Amendments to the Enhanced Survey Programme (ESP) Code – MSC.483(103)
The 2011 ESP (Enhanced Survey Programme) Code establishes a survey standard for the cargo and ballast areas of oil tankers and bulk carriers.

This amendment concerns evaluation, during the first renewal survey, of the actual steel wastage while undertaking thickness measurements of the areas identified in Annex B, Part A and Annex 2 of the Code. This amendment applies to double-hull oil tankers. These thickness measurements will only have to be taken at ‘suspect areas’. This will bring the thickness measurement requirements for oil tankers in line with those for bulk carriers.

Source: Insurance Marine News, February 3rd 2023

Back To Top