IMO Leaves EEDI Requirements Unchanged for Ferries

Newly built ferry rolled out at a German yard, 2013 (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 10-26-2018 05:10:31

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed this week to maintain the existing Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) targets for newly-built ro-ro passenger and ro-ro freight vessels. 

This week's MEPC session tightened EEDI requirements for certain other ship types, but kept the original timeline and reduction rates for ferries. The EEDI targets originally required efficiency improvements of 10 percent by 2015 (relative to the industry average over the span of 1999-2009), 20 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2025.

Environmental groups like Transport & Environment have questioned the targets' relevance for large oceangoing vessels: most container ships and freighters under construction already meet or exceed the goals for 2025, seven years ahead of schedule, according to a T&E survey of newbuilds.

After MEPC 71 in July 2017, a correspondence group, including Interferry was set up to review the feasibility of the original EEDI targets. “Some findings in the correspondence group were not adopted by the MEPC, which I regret to say will undoubtedly create major challenges for certain sizes of container, tanker and bulk vessels," said Interferry regulatory affairs director Johan Roos. "We are pleased to note the IMO’s continued recognition of our particular case, where one size definitely does not fit all – ferries have very specific operational requirements which affect their design criteria.”

In April, MEPC 72 applied a 20 percent adjustment in its EEDI calculation formula for ro-ro and ro-pax vessels. Interferry and several flag states had argued that the universally-applicable targets were problematic, even for highly efficient ro-ro newbuild designs, due to the diversity of such vessels. 

"Interferry totally supports the environmental objectives of the EEDI but, as with other shipping sectors, we need to ensure that the measures are fair and practicable," said Roos. “On the wider issue of greenhouse gases, we are also pleased to note that the IMO member states will stick to the historic agreement in April, which set binding improvement targets for the international maritime industry.  There is still much to do on developing the detailed improvement plans, but we are all much helped by having targets that are fixed in time and in level of ambition.”