PRESS RELEASES

05.06.2013

65th session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC-65) was held from 13 to 17 May in London at IMO Headquarters

The 65th session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has considered and agreed the proposed amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 on Nitrogen oxides (NOx) to change the date of entry into force of the requirements of Tier III standards on emissions of nitrogen oxides from marine diesel engines. Earlier, it was envisaged that the Tier III standards on emissions of nitrogen oxides would come into force on 1 January 2016, subject to the sufficiency of the relevant technologies of exhaust gas cleaning marine diesel engines on market.

A review of the status of the technological developments to implement these standards   was carried out in accordance with the provisions of  MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13.10 with completion no later than in 2013.

To carry out such a review MEPC correspondence group was established under the chairmanship of the United States. Discussion of  the availability of technologies to meet the standards of Tier III at the 65th MEPC session took place on 15 May 2013.  MEPC considered the report of the correspondence group, which made its conclusion on the adequacy of technologies, and introduced the Committee's proposal to maintain the date - 1 January 2016 specified in Regulations 13.2.2 and 13.5.1 of Annex VI to the MARPOL without change.

The delegation of the Russian Federation, headed by Mr. Konstantin Palnikov, the  Director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport, Ministry of  Transport, submitted comments on the report of the correspondence group, with convincing  arguments that the only currently available on the market technology that can ensure compliance with the standards under discussion - SCR technology (the technology of selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides with ammonia released during the thermal decomposition of aqueous urea solution) has significant drawbacks, and did not agree with the conclusions of the correspondence group on retaining the effective date for implementation of standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides,  and offered to postpone the date of entry into force of the relevant requirements of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13, for five years.

Of the 35 delegations which made comments on the documents submitted, 20 delegations supported the proposal of Russia. Other countries, that mainly involved in the shipbuilding or in the production of marine engines, insisted on the entry into force of the new requirements in 2016.

Taking into account the opinion of the majority, the Committee has prepared a draft amendments to Regulation 13.2.2 and 13.5. Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention in respect of compliance of marine diesel engine to Tier III standards (Regulation 13.5.1) concerning the maximum permissible limits of nitrogen oxides emissions in the emission control areas (ECAs). In the current Regulation 13.5.1  the requirements of the Tier III standards shall meet the marine diesel engines, which are installed on the ships constructed on or after 1 January 2016. Due to the lack of sufficient and effective technologies to meet the requirements of Regulation 13.5.1, the proposed amendments will require the compliance to Tier III standards of marine diesel engines, which are delivered to ships constructed on or after 1 January 2021, and in the new version of the Regulation 13.2.2 marine diesel engine supplied for replacement, must meet the requirements of Tier III standards or, if not possible to meet the requirements of these standards, the standards of the Tier II, on or after 1 January 2021 (instead of  2016 as required by the existing Regulation).

A number of delegations expressed their disagreement with the decision taken and reserved their position, so an intense disputes on this matter are expected.

The delegations that disagreed with a decision on changing the above dates of compliance to the Tier III standards,  in their congratulations to the delegation of the Russian Federation  acknowledged that this decision would cause serious impact to the investments already made in the design and manufacture of equipment to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen in the shipping industry.

The presentation of the Russian Federation on the technologies required to meet the standards of Tier III emissions of nitrogen oxides from ships took place on Thursday, May 16, 2013. The presentation was attended by representatives of 20 delegations, including the States - EU members and environmental organizations. A substantial interest was shown to this presentation, and representatives of some countries have announced the revision of their position and possible future support to Russia's position.

In considering the amendments on the last day of the session (17 May 2013) the US delegation made the statement, which sets out its proposals for the additional amendments to retain, as an exception,  the date of 1 January 2016 of the implementation of Tier III standards for emissions of NOx to the North American Emission Control Area and the United States Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area  designated under the MARPOL Annex VI. In the statement the attention was drown that the interested Parties had invested millions of dollars in the technologies and into the preparation of the industry to comply with the Tier III standard in 2016. The US proposals were supported by the several delegations of the countries, representing interests of the ship  builders and manufacturers of the marine engines, as well as observers from non-governmental organizations EUROMOT (the European Association of manufacturers of internal combustion engines) and CESA (Community of European  Shipyards' Association).

The  aforementioned US proposal concerning the amendments to Regulations 13.5.1 and 13.2.2 will be submitted for  consideration to the 66th session of the MEPC.

The observers from EUROMOT and CESA tried to draw the attention of Committee to the illegality of decision taken in respect of the postponement of the effective date of implementation of Regulations 13.2.2 and 13.5.1 of the Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention, while observer from EUROMOT made a promise to provide the shipping industry with a technologies required to meet Tier III standards by 2016.

Draft amendments to MARPOL will be circulated to the Contracting Governments for consideration at MEPC 66 in 2014, with a view to adoption.


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