Roadmap: Implementation

Assistance for the ratification and effective implementation of MARPOL Annex VI 

REMPEC has been providing continued assistance for the ratification and effective implementation of MARPOL Annex VI to the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, which have so requested, through activities financed by the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) and the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), during the biennium 2020-2021, in line with the road map. 

In 2020, REMPEC organised National Workshops (virtual) on Ratification and Effective Implementation of MARPOL Annex VI for: 

These were follow-up activities to those carried out by REMPEC during the biennium 2018-2019, namely: 

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  • the National Workshops on Ratification and Effective Implementation of MARPOL Annex VI for Albania (25-26 November 2019)

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  • the National Workshops on Ratification and Effective Implementation of MARPOL Annex VI for Bosnia and Herzegovina (28-29 November 2019)

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  • the National Workshops on Ratification and Effective Implementation of MARPOL Annex VI for Libya (5-6 December 2019).

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In the meantime, Albania became the 99th country to ratify MARPOL Annex VI.

 

Knowledge gathering and further studies 

According to the road map, some knowledge gathering based on existing knowledge and studies[1] should be completed and further studies should be carried out with a view to developing a mutually agreed joint and coordinated proposal for the possible designation of the Med SOX ECA in accordance with Appendix III (Criteria and procedures for designation of emission control areas) to MARPOL Annex VI, and with the view of formally submitting it to the 78thSession of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78), as follows: 

(a) Knowledge gathering:

  • synopsis of the assessment;
  • quantification of the impacts associated with deposition of PM5 and air toxics;
  • additional detail of land-based emissions controls of SOX and PM in the Mediterranean coastal States; and
  • additional elements on the economic impacts on shipping engaged in international trade. 

(b) Further studies:

  • additional economic impact evaluation, more precisely:
    • analyses of the impacts on shipping engaged in international trade as well as on trade modal shift outside the Mediterranean; and
    • analyses of the impacts on short-sea shipping activity as well on the social and economic impact on Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention including on development for islands, insular and remote areas.
  • additional fuel supply and technology analyses (regional fuel production, fuel availability, and alternative compliance technologies). 

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COP 21 agreed to extend the mandate of the SOX ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts, until 30 April 2021, to oversee the completion of the knowledge gathering and the preparations of further studies, notably socio-economic impacts on individual Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention inter alia as indicated in the road map, including the development of their respective terms of reference, through correspondence coordinated by REMPEC, when examining the possibility of designating the proposed Med SOX ECA. 

COP 21 also requested to update the initial draft submission to the IMO for a proposal for the possible designation of the Med SOX ECA, under the guidance of the SOX ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts in line with the agreed road map. 

To achieve this, REMPEC, the Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL) and the Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC), three UNEP/MAP components, have led the related activities that were grouped into the following four packages of work: 

  1. LOT 1: Draft submission to the IMO (Lead Entity: REMPEC, in cooperation with MED POL and PB/RAC); 
  2. LOT 2: Land-based emissions control measures of SOX and PM in the Mediterranean coastal States (Lead Entity: MED POL, in cooperation with REMPEC); 
  3. LOT 3: Additional analyses of fuel supply and alternative compliance methods (Lead Entity: REMPEC); and 
  4. LOT 4 – Regional: Additional economic impact evaluation (Lead Entity: PB/RAC, in cooperation with REMPEC). 

Each package of work has been designed to ensure the completion of the necessary knowledge gathering or the carrying out of the necessary further studies and shall contribute collectively to the implementation of the road map in a complimentary manner. 

Work on knowledge gathering and studies was completed on 30 April 2021. The necessary knowledge was gathered, the necessary studies were prepared, and the initial draft submission to the IMO for a proposal for the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA was updated, in line with the road map and in accordance with the Terms of Reference developed by the Secretariat and agreed by the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts.

The carrying out of the further studies enabled to more fully address the criteria and procedures for designation of emission control areas laid down in Appendix III to MARPOL Annex VI.

The further work of the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts was successfully completed within the approved timeline of the road map.

The Regional Expert Meeting on the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA was organised remotely by REMPEC on 27-28 April 2021.

On the basis of the outcome of the further work of the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts, the finalised draft submission to the IMO was taken ‎as a basis for the possible submission of a joint and coordinated proposal for the designation of the proposed Med SOx ECA to the IMO.

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Focal Points of REMPEC (online, 31 May-2 June 2021) concurred with the conclusions and recommendations of the Regional Expert Meeting on the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA, in particular the initial discussion held on the effective date of entry into force of the proposed Med SOx ECA as well as the information shared on the progress made by Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention that had not yet ratified MARPOL Annex VI. The Meeting also examined and endorsed the draft joint and coordinated proposal on the designation of the Med SOx ECA to the IMO.

Draft joint and coordinated proposal on the designation of the Med SOx ECA to the IMO 

On the basis of the outcome of the further work of the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts, the finalised draft submission to the IMO was taken ‎as a basis for the possible submission of a joint and coordinated proposal for the designation of the proposed Med SOx ECA to the IMO. 

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Focal Points of REMPEC (online, 31 May-2 June 2021) concurred with the conclusions and recommendations of the Regional Expert Meeting on the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA, in particular the initial discussion held on the effective date of entry into force of the proposed Med SOx ECA as well as the information shared on the progress made by Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention that had not yet ratified MARPOL Annex VI. The Meeting also examined and endorsed the draft joint and coordinated proposal on the designation of the Med SOx ECA to the IMO. 

The Meeting of the MAP Focal Points (teleconference, 10-17 September 2021) endorsed the Draft Decision 25/14 on the Designation of the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides (Med SOx ECA) pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI, as amended by the Meeting, and agreed to keep some square brackets for consideration by the Contracting Parties at their twenty-second meeting. 

Next steps 

Further discussions on the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA will be held during the 22nd Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (Antalya, Turkey, 7-10 December 2021), in accordance with the road map. 

 


[1] These include, amongst others, the Technical and Feasibility Study prepared by REMPEC as well as the study entitled “ECAMED: a Technical Feasibility Study for the Implementation of an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea” prepared by France (MEPC 74/INF.5).