IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80)

IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80​​​)

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) – 80th session meets in person session at IMO Headquarters in London from 3-7 July 2023.


After several months of negotiations, the MEPC 80 session is expected to adopt an upgraded IMO greenhouse gas Strategy.  The IMO GHG Strategy will contain concrete greenhouse gras reduction targets for the sector and is expected to outline a basket of technical and economic measures to be developed to set global shipping on an ambitious path towards phasing out greenhouse gas emissions.


The new targets include a 20% reduction in emissions by 2030, a 70% reduction by 2040 (compared to 2008 levels), and the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. New regulations are expected to enter into force around mid-2027.


MEPC agreed that further work and an impact assessment is to be carried out to select mid-term measures which should consist of both a technical and an economic element. The work scope and the timeline has been agreed in line with the 2023 GHG Strategy. An interim report is expected to be considered at MEPC 81.


Below is an overview of some of the outcomes from MEPC 80:


Greenhouse Gas reduction

The agreements made will have global significance across the maritime industry in the coming decades. Key decisions made included:

  • Adoption of MEPC.377(80) IMO Strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gases from ships.
  • Adoption of MEPC.376(80) the Guidelines on Life Cycle GHG Intensity of Marine Fuels (LCA Guidelines).
  • Agreement of a timeline for the selection, development, and further adoption of mid-term measures.


Air Pollution Prevention

  • Approved MEPC.1/Circ.905 Interim guidance on the use of biofuels under regulations 26, 27 and 28 of MARPOL Annex VI.
  • Approved draft amendments to regulation 2, 14, 18 and appendix I of MARPOL Annex VI on “fuel oil” related issues.
  • Approved the draft amendments to regulation 13.2.2 of MARPOL Annex VI on a marine diesel engine replacing a steam system.
  • Agreed an update to MEPC.1/Circ.795/Rev.8 Unified Interpretations to MARPOL Annex VI – Regulation 13.2.2 concerning identical replacement engines and 18.5 and 18.6 (concerning electronic bunker delivery notes) of MARPOL Annex VI


Energy efficiency of Ships

  • Agreed the plan for review of the short-term measures.
  • Approved the draft amendments to regulation 27 and appendix IX of MARPOL Annex VI in relation to the IMO ship fuel oil consumption Data Collection System (DCS).
  • Adopted MEPC.374(80) Amendments to the 2022 Guidelines on survey and certification of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) (MEPC.365(79) to clarify the filling rate for a gas fuel tank in the EEDI calculation.
  • Adopted MEPC.375(80) Amendments to the 2021 Guidelines on the Shaft/Engine Power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of a power reserve (MEPC.335(76)).


Pollution Prevention Response

  • Adopted MEPC.378(80) 2023 Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species.
  • Adopted MEPC.373(80) 2023 Guidelines for thermal waste treatment devices.
  • Adopted MEPC.379(80) 2023 Guidelines for the development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials.
  • Approved the Operational Guide on the Response to Spills of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS).
  • Agreed amendments to PPR.1/Circ.7 Decisions with regard to the categorization and classification of products.


Special Areas, ECAs PSSA

  • Adopted MEPC.382(80) Establishment of the date on which regulations 15.3, 15.5, and 34.3 to 34.5 of MARPOL Annex I, in respect of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Special Areas, shall take effect.
  • Adopted MEPC.381(80) Establishment of the date on which regulation 6 of MARPOL Annex V, in respect of the Red Sea Special Area shall take effect.
  • Adopted MEPC.377(80) Designation of the north-western Mediterranean Sea as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area.


Underwater Noise

  • Approved MEPC.1/Circ.906 Revised Guidelines for the reduction of underwater radiated noise from shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life (MEPC.1/Circ.833).
  • Approved MEPC.1/Circ.907 Guidelines for underwater radiated noise reduction in Inuit Nunaat and the Arctic


Ballast water management

  • Approved BWM.2/Circ.79 Convention Review Plan under the experience-building phase associated with the BWM Convention.
  • Adopted MEPC.369(80) Amendments to Appendix II of the BWM Convention – concerning the form of Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB).
  • Approved BWM.2/Circ.80 Guidance for completing entries in the Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB).
  • Adopted MEPC.372(80) Guidelines for the use of electronic record books under the Ballast Water Management Convention.
  • Approved BWM.2/Circ.78 Protocol for verification of ballast water compliance monitoring devices.
  • Approved BWM.2/Circ.66/Rev.5 Unified Interpretation to the BWM Convention – form of the International Ballast Water Management Certificate and regulations B-3.5 and B-3.10 of the BWM Convention.


PMDS will keep you informed when new regulations will enter into force.


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