Use of electronic record books under MARPOL
16 September 2020 | C20036
MARPOL Amendments enter into force on October 01, 2020 and allow the use of electronic record books for Annex I, II, V, VI and the NOX Technical Code.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors
Following the 74th Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting, below apply:
- Amendments to MARPOL Annex I, II and V are implemented through MEPC.314(74);
- Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI are implemented through MEPC.316(74); and
- Amendments to the NOx Technical Code are implemented through MEPC.317(74).
The MARPOL and NOx Technical Code amendments enter into force on 01 October 2020. The regulations enable the electronic recording of the following record books:
- Oil Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex I, regulations 17.1 and 36.1);
- Cargo Record Book (MARPOL Annex II, regulation 15.1);
- Garbage Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex V, regulation 10.3);
- Ozone-depleting Substances Record Book (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 12.6);
- recording of the tier and on/off status of marine diesel engines (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 13.5.3);
- Record of Fuel Oil Changeover (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 14.6); and
- Record Book of Engine Parameters (NOX Technical Code, paragraph 188.8.131.52).
The Electronic Record Books should be developed in accordance with IMO Resolution MEPC.312(74).
The use of an electronic record book to record operational logs is an alternative method to a hard copy record book. The electronic record book may allow ships to utilize their technology to reduce administrative burdens and contribute to on board environmental initiatives, e.g. reduction of paper use.
It is expected that as companies and shipowners increasingly explore electronic record keeping, Flag Administrations will be requested to approve electronic recording systems. The above guidance aims to provide standardized information on approving an electronic record book to ensure the obligations of MARPOL are met and that there is a consistent approach to approving such systems.
As MARPOL and its Annexes continue to evolve, it is essential that all approved electronic record books are reviewed and appropriately updated to ensure relevant MARPOL amendments are incorporated in the electronic record book. Any updates should not cause loss of existing records, nor make them unreadable, and the system should continue to present all records in the form specified by MARPOL. Updates to the system should be completed prior to the entry into force of the relevant MARPOL amendments.
ShipOwners/ Managers/ Operators of ships are recommended to apply the use of electronic record books on board their fleet and if using the electronic record books to assure compliance with the record-keeping requirements under the relevant MARPOL Chapter.