Statutory Alert: MARPOL Annex IV passenger ship sewage discharge and treatment requirements – postponement of implementation agreed in principle Applicability: All shipowners and technical managers
Class News 08/2013 detailed entry into force of MARPOL Annex IV requirements prohibiting passenger vessels from discharging sewage within the Baltic Sea special area. These requirements were intended to apply to new passenger ships from 1 January, 2016. However, a delay in arranging reception facilities means that the special area cannot take effect on this date. Therefore, the IMO’s marine environment protection committee (MEPC) has agreed in principle, (i.e. without formally amending MARPOL Annex IV yet), to implement the requirements from 1 June, 2019 (and from 1 June, 2021, for existing ships).
Class News 08/2013 also detailed the updated performance test and standard requirements for sewage treatment plants contained in section 4 of Resolution MEPC.227(64), and specifically the requirement for passenger ships operating in the Baltic Sea and other special areas to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard in section 4.2. The IMO has also agreed in principle to postpone the implementation date for this requirement, again to 1 June, 2019 for new ships, and 1 June, 2021, for existing ships.
The changes to MARPOL Annex IV to confirm these new implementation dates are expected to be adopted at the 69th MEPC meeting (MEPC 69) in April 2016.
Ships other than passenger vessels
Ships other than passenger vessels must still comply with the Resolution MEPC.227(64) performance test and standard requirements (excluding the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard) on or after 1 January, 2016, though this is subject to final confirmation at MEPC 69.
We will issue a further Class News after MEPC 69 to update owners and technical managers of passenger vessels on the final agreed implementation dates, as well as on the availability of treatment plants that can meet the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard. This Class News will also update owners and technical managers of ships other than passenger vessels on the application of the performance test and standard requirements.