IMO Adopts Fuel Consumption Reporting Rule

Indonesian President Joko Widodo addresses MEPC 69 (courtesy IMO)

Published Apr 22, 2016 8:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

While the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee has not adopted a proposal to work towards greenhouse gas regulation, on Friday it approved a measure requiring ships over 5,000 gt to report fuel consumption (and therefore CO2 emissions) to their flag states, IMO said in a statement Friday. 

The flag state will determine whether the the data has been reported in accordance with the requirements, and if so, it will issue a Statement of Compliance to the ship. Flag states will be required to transfer this data to an IMO Ship Fuel Consumption Database.

“It has been very encouraging to see states which had previously found it difficult to reach binding agreement on climate change measures bring the spirit of the Paris Agreement to IMO this week. The unanimous agreement to take forward a mandatory data collection system for ships’ fuel consumption is a significant step. It will provide a solid basis on which to consider, armed with information, whether further measures may be required in future to mitigate GHG emissions from shipping,” Mr Lim said.

“We believe that IMO Member States have agreed an acceptable compromise between governments primarily interested in data on fuel consumption and CO2 and those that wish to collect additional information," said International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe.

The ICS had submitted a proposal similar to the Intended National Determined Contributions for CO2 emissions reductions in the Paris Agreement, which 170 nations negotiated at the COP21 climate talks last year and formally signed in a ceremony Friday in New York. MEPC did not adopt ICS' plan for a COP21-inspired "Intended IMO Determined Contribution," nor did it make other progress towards regulating  greenhouse gas emissions, but ICS said that its proposal was well received by some member states and would be taken forward to the next MEPC meeting in October. 

The European Community Shipowners' Associations expressed support for ICS' proposal. “An Intended IMO Determined Contribution would make IMO Member States and the shipping industry answerable to the international community, in the same way that governments are committed to INDCs”, said Patrick Verhoeven, the organization's Secretary General. “A work plan must now be elaborated, which includes the methodology used to define the contribution, the reference years, the long-term objective and the intermediary steps, all according to a clear timetable.”