MARPOL

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In 1973, IMO acquired the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, now known universally as MARPOL, which has been amended by the Protocols of 1978 and 1997 and kept updated with relevant amendments. MARPOL has greatly contributed to the appreciable decrease in pollution from international shipping and applies to 99% of the world’s merchant tonnage. 

MARPOL includes six technical annexes:

  • Annex I: Regulations for the prevention of pollution by the oil
  • Annex II: Regulations for the control of pollution by the noxious liquid substances in bulk
  • Annex III: Regulations for the prevention of pollution by the harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form
  • Annex IV: Regulations for the prevention of pollution by the sewage from ships
  • Annex V: Regulations for the prevention of pollution by the garbage from ships
  • Annex VI: Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from the ships

Annex I – Regulations for the prevention of pollution by the oil

Oil tankers transport some 2,900 million tonnes of crude oil and oil products every year around the world by sea.  

Annex I came into force on 02.10.1983 and contains conditions for discharge of mixtures containing oil and also requirements applicable to the construction and equipment of tankers larger than 150GRT and other ships larger than 400GRT. This Annex is based on the principle that oil & water do not mix & are therefore easily separated.

Special areas under MARPOL Annex 1:

1. The Mediterranean Sea.
2. Baltic Sea.
3. The Black Sea.
4. The Red Sea.
5. “Gulfs” area.
6. The Gulf of Aden.
7. Antarctic sea.
8. North West European waters.
9. Oman area of the Arabian Sea.
10. Southern South African waters.

Control of Discharge of Oil under MARPOL Annex 1 Regulation 4

All ship’s of 400GT (Other than oil tankers) and above sailing outside the special areas, the discharge from the machinery spaces, is permitted if:

  1. The ship is en route
  2.  Only treated oil-water mixture which is processed through an approved oil filtering equipment fulfilling the requirement stated in regulation 14 is used to discharge the treated effluent mixture
  3. The oil PPM in the treated effluent without dilution must not exceed 15 parts per million
  4. The oily mixture being treated in the oil filtering equipment is only taken from the engine room and not generating from cargo holds
  5. The oily mixture is not mixed with fuel tanks or cargo tanks oil residues
  6. The ship is more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land

Discharges in special areas

For this ships of 400GT and above (Other than oil tankers), any discharge of oil or oily mixture out at sea is forbidden, except when all the following requirements are fulfilled:

1 the ship is proceeding en route;
2. Only treated oil-water mixture which is processed through an approved oil filtering equipment fulfilling the condition stated in regulation 14 is used to discharge the treated effluent mixture
3 The oil PPM in the treated effluent without dilution must not exceed 15 parts per million
4. In the special area of the Antarctic, any discharge into the sea of oil. Oil effluent or oily mixtures from the ship shall be prohibited.

Discharge from the Cargo Area of an Oil tanker (which includes cargo tanks, pump rooms, machinery space, bilges mixed with cargo oil residue, etc.) –

  • The tanker ship is not inside a Special Area.
  • The tanker ship should be more than 50 nautical miles from the closest land.
  • The tanker ship is moving en route.
  • The instantaneous rate of discharge of oil content doesn’t exceed 30 litres per nautical mile
  • The total quantity of oil discharged into the sea does not exceed for existing tankers (delivered on or before 31 December 1979 ) 1/15000 of the total amount of the particular cargo of which the residue formed a part, and for new tankers (delivered after 31 December 1979 ) 1/30000 of the total quantity of the specific cargo of which the residue formed a part.
  • The tanker has in operational oil discharge monitoring and control system and a slop tank arrangement.

Discharge In Special Areas From Oil Tankers

Any oily mixture or oil effluent discharge from the cargo area of an oil tanker into the sea which comes under special area shall be prohibited.

The prerequisites of this regulation shall not affect the discharge of clean or segregated ballast tank.

In respect of the special area of Antarctica, any discharge into the sea of oily or mixtures from any ships shall be prohibited.

Survey under Marpol Annex 1

Every ship with 400GT and above and all tanker ships of 150GT and above must be subjected to following surveys:

  1. Initial Survey
  2. Annual Survey
  3. Intermediate Survey
  4. Renewal Survey
  5. Additional Survey
  6. Condition Assessment Scheme

Certificates, under MARPOL Annex 1

  1. International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP)

2. Oil Record Book 

    (a) ORB Part 1 

(b) Oil Record Book ( Part II), For the Oil Tanker

3. SOPEP – Shipboard oil pollution emergency plan

Annex II – Regulations for the Control of Pollution by the Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk

Annex II came into force on 06.04.1987 and contains discharge conditions for four categoriesX,Y,Z, other substances of noxious substances and requirements applicable to the construction and equipment of ships carrying such substances. Unlike oil, most chemicals or noxious liquids will mix with the water and are not easily separated from it. The chief principle of Annex II is to dilute the cargo residues in the seawater to prescribed limits depending on their pollution hazard and facilitate the distribution of discharges by utilizing the wake of the ship. The discharges are required to be made below the water line and in such a way that the water/residue mixture is retained in the ship boundary layer and carried aft when en route to be distributed by the wake astern.

The four categories are:

1.Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances are substances which, if released into sea from the tank cleaning or others operations, are deemed to present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health &, therefore, account for the prohibition of the discharge into the marine environment;

2.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 the amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea & therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment;

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

4. Other Substances: Other substances which are assessed & found to fall outside Category X, Y or Z because they are considered to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or other legal uses of the sea when released into sea from the tank cleaning of deballasting operations. The release of the bilge or ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these substances are not subject to any requirements of MARPOL Annex II.

MARPOL Annex II Special Areas:

  • Antarctic Sea
  • Black sea
  • Baltic sea

Discharge criteria for Noxious liquid substances:

  • The ship is proceeding enroute. at a speed of at least 7 knots in the case of a self propelled ships.
  • In the case of ships not self propelled at least 4 knots speed.
  • The discharge is made below the waterline through the underwater discharge outlet not exceeding the rate the underwater discharge outlet is designed for.
  • The discharge is made from the distance not less than(<) 12 NM from the nearest land & in a depth of water of not less than 25m.

Discharge of Residues of category X:

  • A tank from which a substance in category X has been unloaded shall be prewashed before the ship leaves the port of unloading. The resulting residues shall be discharged to a reception facility until the concentration of the substance in the effluent to such facility as indicated by analysis of samples of the effluent taken by the surveyor is at or under 0.1% by weight when the required concentration level is achieved , remaining tank washings shall continue to be discharged to the reception facility until the tank is empty. Relevant entries of these operation shall be made in the cargo record book and endorsed by the surveyor.
  • Any water later introduced into the tank may be discharged into the sea in accordance with the discharge standards regulation 13.2 of this annex.
  • Exemption for a prewash : On the request of the ships master an exemption for a prewash may be granted by the government of the receiving party where it is satisfied that
  • The unloaded tank which is to be loaded again with same substance or another substance compatible with the previous one & that the tank will not.

For the ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007 the maximum allowed residue in the tank and its associated piping left after discharge is set at a maximum of 75 litres for products which comes in the categories X, Y & Z (Previous limits which set a maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category).

MARPOL Documents of Annex II :

  1. IBC Code
  2. Certificate of fitness or NLS Certificate.
  3. Officers specialized chemical tanker certificate.
  4. P & A manual approved by administration to which a particular vessel is approved.
  5. Cargo Record book.
  6. SMPEP P & A- Procedures of arrangements

Annex III – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by the Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form

Roughly 15% of the goods carried as cargo are dangerous goods. Annex III which came into the force on 01.07.1992 consists of conditions for the safe handling of the packaged substances that represent a serious risk to the environment, as well as guidelines for identification of harmful substances.

Chemicals which are transported in the packaged form, in solid form or in bulk are regulated by Part A of SOLAS Chapter VII – Carriage of dangerous goods, which includes provisions for the classification, packing, marking, labelling & placarding, documentation & stowage of dangerous goods. 

Both SOLAS & MARPOL refer to the IMDG(nternational Maritime Dangerous Goods Code), which was developed by IMO as a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea.

Marine pollutants according as per the IMDG code are dangerous goods with properties adverse to the marine environment, e. g.:

  • Hazardous to aquatic life (marine fauna and flora),
  • impairing the taste of seafood, or
  • accumulating pollutants in aquatic organisms.

Annex IV – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by the Sewage from Ships

The regulation consists of requirements for the surveys & certification of sewage systems and impose operational restrictions regarding sewage discharge. Annex IV in forced from 27 September 2003

The revised Annex applies to ships, engaged in international voyages, of 400 gross tonnage(GT) & above or which are certified to carry more than 15 persons.

The release of the sewage into the sea is forbidden, except when the ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment plant or when the ship is discharging comminuted & disinfected sewage using an approved sewage treatment plant at a distance of more than (>)3 nautical miles from the nearest land.

Sewage which are not comminuted or sterilized can be discharged at the distance of more than(>)12 nautical miles from the nearest land when the ship is en route & proceeding at not less than(<) 4 knots, & the rate of discharge of untreated sewage shall be approved by the administration.

Currently, the Baltic Sea area is the only Special Area under Annex IV.

Annex V – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by the Garbage from ships

Garbage means all kinds of victual, domestic and operational wastes generated during the normal operation of a ship and liable to be disposed of on regular basis or periodically. It does not include fresh fish & parts thereof or sewage.

The special areas established under Annex V are:

·        the Mediterranean Sea area

·        the Baltic Sea area

·        the Black Sea area

·        the Red Sea area

·        the Gulfs area

·        the North Sea area

·        the Wider Caribbean Region and

·        the Antarctic area.

Garbage Management plan

Garbage Management plan(GMP) should be developed according to the guidelines of IMO & includes written procedures for minimizing, collecting, storing, processing and disposing of garbage, including the use of the equipment on board (regulation 10.2). The garbage management plan should assign the person responsible for the plan and should be in the working language of the crew.

  1. All ships of 100 GT and above; and
  2. Every ship certified to carry 15 persons or more must have a garbage management plan.

GMP (Garbage Management plan) Contents:

  • Designated person responsible to carry out the plan.
  • Be in working language of the crew.
  • Provide written process for collecting, storing, processing and disposal of garbage.
  • Certain written process for the use of equipment on board.

Garbage Record Book:-

  • Every ship of 400GT and above.
  • Every ship authorized to carry 15 persons or more
  • Every fixed floating platform.
  • must have & maintain a GRB

GRB (Garbage Record Book) Contents:

  1. Each discharge operation or completed incineration shall be recorded in the GRB and signed for on the date of the incineration or discharge by officer in charge.
  2. The entry of incineration or discharge shall contains date & time, position of the ship, description of the garbage and the estimated amount incinerated or discharged.
  3. GRB shall be kept on board at least for 2 years for inspection after it is fully complete.
  4. Each completed page of GRB shall be signed by the master of the ship.

Garbage color code :

Blue –  Flammable (paper, rags, cardboards)

Yellow –  Non flammable (Glass, bottle, metal)

Red – Plastic

Green-  Food waste

Black –  Ash (generated from incinerator)

Annex VI – Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from the ships

Regulations for the prevention of Air Pollution from the ships entered into force on 19 May 2005

MARPOL, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from the Ships, is concerned with preventing marine pollution from ships. Annex VI of MARPOL addresses about air pollution from ocean-going ships. The international air pollution requirements of Annex VI set limits on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions & require the use of fuel with lower sulphur content, protecting people’s health and the environment by decreasing ozone producing pollution, which can cause smog and aggravate asthma.

Basically the code covers the following

Regulation 12 – Emissions from Ozone depleting substances from refrigerating plants and fire fighting equipment.

Regulation 13 – Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from the diesel engines

Regulation 14 – Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emissions from the ships

Regulation 15 – Volatile Organic compounds emissions from the cargo oil tanks of oil tankers

Regulation 16 – Emissions from shipboard incinerators.

Regulation 18 – Fuel Oil quality.

MARPOL Annex VI special areas:

  1. Baltic sea (Sox) +24NM off California coast
  2. North sea (Sox)
  3. North America (Nox, Sox & PM- Particulate matter)
  4. United states Caribbean sea (Nox, Sox & PM) Ist Jan, 2014.

Special area for SOX    emissionare :-

  1. Baltic sea
  2. North sea
  3. North America
  4. United states Caribbean sea

Special area for NOX    emissionare :-

  1. North America
  2. United states Caribbean sea

 Applicability of annex VI

 Every ship of 400 GT and above

  • every fixed & floating drilling rigs and
  • other platform are under the applicability of annex VI.

Surveys

  1. Initial Survey
  2. Renewal Survey.
  3. Intermediate survey
  4. Annual Survey
  5. Additional Survey

Air pollution is caused by ships exhausts which emits sulphur oxide (Sox) and Nitrogen Oxide (Nox).

This regulation shall apply to-

  1. Each marine diesel engine with a power output of more than 130 KW installed in a ship.
  2. Each marine diesel engine with a power output of more than 130 KW that undergoes a major conversion on or after 4 Jan 2000.

SOX  Emission in  SECA (Sulphur  Emission Control Area)

Inside SECA

Before 1st July, 2010: – 1.5% Sulphur content in fuel.
From 1st July, 2010- 1st Jan, 2015: – 1.0% Sulphur content in the fuel
On or after 1st Jan, 2015 :- 0.1% Sulphur content in fuel.
SOX Emission Outside SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area)

Outside SECA

Before 1st Jan, 2010:- 4.5% Sulphur content in the fuel
From, 1st Jan 2010:- 1st Jan, 2020 – 3.5% Sulphur content in the fuel
On or after 1st Jan, 2020:- 0.5% Sulphur content in fuel

Remission – Use of low sulphur fuel, use of scrubber, shoreside electricity & LNG Gas engine.

NOx Emission Regulations :-

Tier Ship Construetion date on or after Total weighted emission limit (g/kwh) N=engine rpm
    n<130 n=130-1999 n≥ 2000
1 1st Jan, 2010 17.0 45n-(0.2) 9.8
2 1st Jan, 2011 17.4 44n-(0.23) 7.7
3 1st Jan, 2016 3.4 9n-(0.2) 2.0

Certificate issued under Annex 6:  IAPP

  • International Air pollution prevention Certificate
  • Valid for not more than 5 years.
  • New amendments has come into force on 1st Jan, 2013.
  • Ships built after 1st Jan 2013 should have EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index)
  • Mandatory for all ships SEEMP
  • (Ships Energy Efficiency Management Plan)
  • IEEC (International Energy Efficiency Cert) is required for survey & certification.

Disclaimer: Data in the article have been sourced from available information in the internet from different sources.