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ruben.maritime

The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

EMBARGOED TO 1 JANUARY 2007: ENTRY INTO FORCE REVISED MARPOL ANNEXES I&II

Stricter rules for carriage of chemicals and vegetable oils in bulk enter into force on 1 January 2007



Stricter rules on carrying vegetable oils in bulk by ship are among the changes introduced by amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), which enter into force on 1 January 2007.



The revised Annex II regulations on carriage of noxious liquid substances carried in bulk (including chemicals and vegetable oils) introduce significant changes to the way certain products may be transported, in order to protect the marine environment from harm.



Revised Annex I regulations on carriage of oil by ship update and re-order the regulations as well as introducing some new rules.



In addition, a number of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) also enter into force on 1 January 2007.



Revised MARPOL Annex I (oil)

The revised MARPOL Annex I Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil incorporates the various amendments adopted since MARPOL entered into force in 1983, including the amended regulation 13G (regulation 20 in the revised annex) and regulation 13H (regulation 21 in the revised annex) on the phasing-in of double hull requirements for oil tankers.



It also separates, in different chapters, the construction and equipment provisions from the operational requirements and makes clear the distinctions between the requirements for new ships and those for existing ships. The revision provides a more user-friendly, simplified Annex I.



New requirements in the revised Annex I include the following:

* Regulation 22 Pump-room bottom protection: on oil tankers of 5,000 tonnes deadweight and above constructed on or after 1 January 2007, the pump-room shall be provided with a double bottom.

* Regulation 23 Accidental oil outflow performance - applicable to oil tankers delivered on or after 1 January 2010; construction requirements to provide adequate protection against oil pollution in the event of stranding or collision.



Revised MARPOL Annex II (noxious liquid substances carried in bulk)

The revised Annex II Regulations for the control of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk includes a new four-category categorization system for noxious and liquid substances.



The new categories are:

* Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health and, therefore, justify the prohibition of the discharge into the marine environment;

* Category Y: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a hazard to either marine resources or human health or cause harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment;

* Category Z: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a minor hazard to either marine resources or human health and therefore justify less stringent restrictions on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment; and

* Other Substances: substances which have been evaluated and found to fall outside Categories X, Y or Z because they are considered to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea when discharged into the sea from tank cleaning of deballasting operations. The discharge of bilge or ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these substances are not subject to any discharge requirements of MARPOL Annex II.



The revised annex includes a number of other significant changes. Improvements in ship technology, such as efficient stripping techniques, has made possible significantly lower permitted discharge levels of certain products which have been incorporated into Annex II. For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007, the maximum permitted residue in the tank and its associated piping left after discharge will be set at a maximum of 75 litres for products in categories X, Y and Z - compared with previous limits which set a maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category.



Alongside the revision of Annex II, the marine pollution hazards of thousands of chemicals have been evaluated by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group, giving a resultant GESAMP Hazard Profile which indexes the substance according to its bio-accumulation; bio-degradation; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; long-term health effects; and effects on marine wildlife and on benthic habitats.



Transport of vegetable oils

As a result of the hazard evaluation process and the new categorization system, vegetable oils which were previously categorized as being unrestricted will now be required to be carried in chemical tankers.



The revised Annex includes, under regulation 4 Exemptions, provision for the Administration to exempt ships certified to carry individually identified vegetable oils, subject to certain provisions relating to the location of the cargo tanks carrying the identified vegetable oil.



An MEPC resolution, MEPC.148(54) Guidelines for the transport of vegetable oils in deep tanks or in independent tanks specially designed for the carriage of such vegetable oils on board dry cargo ships, allows general dry cargo ships that are currently certified to carry vegetable oil in bulk, to continue to carry these vegetable oils on specific trades. The guidelines also take effect on 1 January 2007.



Consequential amendments to the IBC Code

An amended International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code) reflecting the changes to MARPOL Annex II, also enters into force on 1 January 2007. The amendments incorporate revisions to the categorization of certain products relating to their properties as potential marine pollutants, as well as revisions to ship type and carriage requirements following their evaluation by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working Group.



Ships constructed after 1986 carrying substances identified in chapter 17 of the IBC Code must follow the requirements for design, construction, equipment and operation of ships contained in the Code.



SOLAS amendments

Also on 1 January 2007, amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) enter into force. They include the following:

* New SOLAS regulation II-1/3-7 to require ship construction drawings to be maintained on board and ashore.

* New SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 concerning towing and mooring equipment. The regulation will require all ships to be provided with arrangements, equipment and fittings of sufficient safe working load to enable the safe conduct of all towing and mooring operations associated with the normal operation of the ship.

* New SOLAS regulation II-1/23-3 concerning water level detectors in the cargo hold(s) on new single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers.

* Amendment to SOLAS regulation II-1/31 concerning machinery control to restrict the application of propulsion control automation systems to new ships only.



In addition, amendments to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18)), as amended) enter into force on 1 January 2007. The amendments incorporate some elements of the Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) required for certain single hull tankers under MARPOL Annex I and include re-organization of the guidelines to include a new section on survey guidelines for the inspection of double hull tankers.

 

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