The 76th Session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) was held remotely from 10 to 17 June 2021 adopting various amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI include modifications that will require ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. They combine new technical and operational measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships including requirements:

  • for ships above 400 gt: to calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) in accordance with technical means
  • for ships above 5000 gt: to establish their annual operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and get a rating according to A, B, C, D, E scheme (A being the best).

All the above amendments will enter into force on 1 November 2022 and become effective starting 1 January 2023: the first carbon intensity reports will be concluded within 2023 and first CII ratings will be assigned in 2024.

Amendments to MARPOL Annexes I and IV concerning the exemption of unmanned
non-self-propelled UNSP barges from survey and certification requirements.

Amendments to the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships Convention (AFS), for the purpose of including controls on the biocide cybutrene in anti-fouling systems.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex I to ban the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters, effective starting 1 July 2024.

Furthermore, in its 76th Session the MEPC:

  • agreed to review within 2023 the Guidelines published in 2014 for the reduction of underwater noise from commercial shipping;
  • adopted several amendments related to air pollution and energy efficiency.