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IMCA launches new series of regulatory update bulletins

Published on 3 October 2016

Today’s regulatory agenda is being increasingly driven by environmental issues. Shipping is under increasing pressure to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to global efforts to counter anthropogenic climate change. The pressure is unlikely to abate; on the contrary shipping should expect these pressures to increase.

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), which has Observer status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has therefore launched a series of regular ‘Regulatory Update’ bulletins, the first of which is on the IMCA website, to keep members informed about regulatory developments.

“Our Regulatory & Policy Affairs Team is committed to keeping the bulletins short and to the point,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Allen Leatt.”Rather than providing detailed evaluations of new regulation and other activities, they will raise awareness and point to more comprehensive sources of information where necessary.

“Some of the work items at the IMO may well affect IMCA members significantly, especially those who are not yet prepared, such as the entry into force of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water & Sediments. Whilst some of these items – such as the IMO’s efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases – appear to have limited immediate impact for our members, they have the potential to profoundly alter the face of shipping in the longer term.

“Looking beyond IMO, the United States and European Union both continue to develop a range of new regulations, many of which will affect IMCA members. Some of these initiatives are not fully aligned with IMO requirements. IMCA believes that IMO is the most appropriate forum to develop regulations for international shipping and that regional and national regulations applicable to international shipping should be aligned with those agreed at IMO.”

The latest bulletin contains an introduction to the strengthened IMCA Regulatory & Policy Affairs Team; and updates on ballast water; greenhouse gas emissions and global warming (with bird’s eye views of both IMO developments and EU regulation).

Other topics include emissions to air (ECA-NOx planned for North Sea and English Channel; IMO plans for a SOx cap; and BOEM draft regulations); carriage of personnel; and vessels and equipment (including DP vessels; stability code; on-board lifting appliances and winches). Security; the Marine Labour Convention; European affairs (ATEX directive; and Hydrocarbon BREF work); US affairs (well intervention vessels policy) also feature in the bulletin.

“We will, of course also take an interest in, and act for members, in areas of national/regional regulation in countries not covered in this initial bulletin,” says Allen Leatt.