2021 Regulatory Landscape

We have summarized for you the more important international regulations that enter into force in January 2021. Have a quick look:

Resolution MSC.428(98): Maritime Cyber Risk Management

Around the global maritime community, ports, ships & offshore units are increasingly connected to & dependent on the systems that makes use of the cyberspace (internet). Failure to anticipate & prepare for the cyber incident onboard a ship or offshore unit may have significant consequences. The IMO encourages Administrations to assure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in the existing safety management systems (SMS) no later than the first annual verification of the company’s Document of Compliance (DOC) after 1st January 2021.

Resolution MEPC.315(74): Amendments to MARPOL Annex II

A new term ‘persistent floater’ has been added to the definitions under the cargo residues & tank washings. Also, the discharge requirements for the cargo residues & tank washings containing persistent floating products having high viscosity and/or a high melting point that can solidify under the certain conditions that have been strengthened in some sea areas. Vessels must pre-wash & discharge residue generated during prewash to a shore reception facility at the discharge port. The relevant sea areas are the North-West European Waters, Baltic Sea, Western European Waters & the Norwegian Sea. Owners & managers will need to revise their Procedures & Arrangements manual to incorporate the changes.

Resolution MEPC.318(74) Resolution MSC.460(101): Amendments to IBC Code

Vessels carrying bulk liquid are prone to the formation of the hydrogen sulphide (H2S) will have to carry H2S detection equipment. Chapter 21 has a revised criteria for assigning carriage requirements for the products subjected to the IBC Code. For many ships, it should be essential to update their Noxious Liquid Substances (NLS) certificate or Certificate of Fitness to reflect the changes.

Resolution MEPC.248(66): Approved stability instrument for the oil tankers

Oil tankers constructed before 1st Jan 2016 should have a document of approval for stability instrument. The International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Certificate is to be amended accordingly. If the vessel already has one capable of verifying compliance with intact & damage stability to the satisfaction of the Administration, then it need not be replaced.

Resolution MEPC.250(66) MSC.369(93): Approved stability instrument for the chemical tankers

Chemical tankers with a keel-laying date between 01 July 1986 & 31 December 2015 should have a document of approval for the stability instrument & this should be reflected in the certificate of the fitness. If the vessel already has one capable of verifying compliance with intact & damage stability to the satisfaction of the Administration, then it need not to be replaced.

Resolution MEPC.286(71): Designation of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea Emission Control Areas for NOX Tier Ill control)

In addition to the current NOx Tier III emission control areas (the United States Caribbean Sea area and North American area), Baltic Sea and North Sea areas will be added to the list. It affects ships constructed on or after 1 January 2021 or existing ships which install an additional engine or replace an engine with the non-identical engine. Refer to Regulation 1.11.2 of MARPOL Annex I for the boundaries of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea areas.

Resolution MSC.461(101): Amendments to the International Code on Enhanced Programme of Inspections During Surveys of the Bulk Carriers & Oil Tankers, 2011 (2011 ESP Code)

The adopted amendments include the following:

  • Replacement of the non-compulsory word “should” by the compulsory word “shall” to indicate the text’s mandatory nature
  • New definitions for a few terms such as the ‘edge corrosion’, ‘Administration’, ‘grooving corrosion’ etc.
  • New requirements for overall & close up surveys
  • New Annex for the recommended thickness programme for the Common Structural Rules (CSR) single-side bulk carriers & CSR double-side bulk carriers
  • Figures used in the Code have been revised
  • New requirements of the acceptance criteria for the corrosion
  • New requirements of the rescue & emergency response equipment

Resolution MSC.434(98): GMDSS Performance Standards

Every ship earth station forming part of GMDSS & designed to operate as part of a mobile satellite service recognized on or after 1st January 2021, should comply with the relevant requirements of the resolution A.1001(25). Alternately, if designed to operate on a mobile satellite service recognized before 1st January 2021 it should conform with the relevant requirements of the resolution A.1001(25); or to performance standards not inferior to those specified in the annex to the resolution MSC.130(75) if installed after 1st February 1999.

California: Increased criminal penalties for oil spill-related offences

New fines under the California’s Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention & Response Act will be applicable from 1st January 2021 for ship sourced oil pollution damage in the Californian State waters. These fines will result in:

  • A doubling of certain existing fines up to a maximum of USD 1,000,000 for each violation, with each day or partial day of a violation being considered a separate violation, and
  • The courts being empowered to impose a new additional fine of up to USD 1,000 per gallon of oil spilled in excess of 1,000 gallons.

In each case, a fine may be imposed if the violator knowingly caused, or reasonably should have known that their actions would lead to an oil spill into Californian State waters.