Dear Valued Partners and Colleagues,

In the world of shipping, the only constant is change. This industry, the lifeblood of global trade, must constantly adapt to shifts in the landscape of maritime regulations. In this edition of our Compliance Compass, we dive deep into the transformations resulting from the 80th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) session and how EMH Systems, with our pioneering Environmental Compliance Assistance Platform (ECAP), helps you stay on course.

MEPC 80 Outcomes – Decoding Regulatory Changes

1. Tackling Climate Change

The 2023 IMO GHG Strategy, aimed at mitigating climate change by significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions from ships, marks a pivotal course adjustment for the maritime sector. The new strategy addresses a critical aspect of sustainable shipping, yet, its success will hinge on comprehensive implementation by shipowners, operators, and maritime nations.

2. Energy Efficiency of Ships

MEPC 80’s approval of draft amendments to the IMO ship fuel oil consumption Data Collection System (DCS) marks another stride toward sustainable shipping. These amendments underline the industry’s commitment to monitoring and improving fuel efficiency, setting a precedent for future regulations. However, harmonizing these standards across fleets will be a key challenge.

3. Ballast Water Management

With the adoption of amendments to the BWM Convention and approval of the Convention Review Plan, MEPC 80 has reiterated its focus on preserving marine biodiversity. These decisions underscore the need for effective ballast water management but will necessitate robust technologies and processes to ensure compliance.

4. Biofouling Management

Adopting revised guidelines for biofouling management, the committee highlights the need for proactive measures against this often-overlooked environmental threat. Although an important stride, the effectiveness of these guidelines will depend on their integration into existing maintenance and cleaning routines.

5. Increased Whale Collision Incidents

We’ve noticed an uptick in whale collision incidents, an issue warranting immediate attention. To combat this, we’re integrating a Whale sighting tracking application, enabling ECAP users to report and track whale sightings. This enhanced insight will help users implement effective avoidance measures, such as reducing vessel speed or employing additional lookouts.

6. Underwater Noise Management

The adoption of revised guidelines for controlling underwater noise is a commendable move towards protecting marine life from the often-overlooked issue of noise pollution. The challenge here lies in creating efficient technologies to reduce noise emissions from large-scale maritime operations.

7. Tackling Marine Litter

MEPC 80’s focus on combating marine litter, including plastic pellet carriage and lost container management, highlights an urgent global issue. The challenge for the shipping industry will be to develop and enforce strict waste management protocols to prevent litter from entering our oceans.

8. Ship-to-Ship Transfer

The proposal for an Assembly resolution on ship-to-ship transfer reflects the importance of such operations in maintaining maritime logistics efficiency. It will be crucial to balance the need for smooth operations with potential environmental impacts.

9. Special Areas Designation

The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden were officially marked as special areas under MARPOL Annexes I and V. Anticipating this change, EMH Systems is proactively incorporating these areas into ECAP database. This integration enables vessels to stay informed and prepared even before entering these areas, thus enhancing compliance and safety.

10. The MEPC 80 touched on various additional topics based on the PPR Sub-Committee’s inputs. The broad scope of these discussions underscores the IMO’s holistic approach towards a sustainable maritime future

Charting the Course Ahead

With the ever-changing regulatory tides, our mission at EMH Systems is to provide the navigational tools and insights you need to stay on course. Join us on this journey through the future of maritime regulations and stay tuned for more enlightening discussions in our upcoming editions of Compliance Compass.

Smooth sailing until the next edition,


P.S. We highly value your feedback. For any questions, comments, or future topic suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out. As always, we at EMH Systems are here to guide you through the complex world of maritime compliance.