Amendments to the IBC/BCH Codes & MARPOL Annex II

14 October 2020 |  C20042

The Amendments on MARPOL Annex II and the IBC & BCH Codes have been adopted and are coming into force on 01 January 2021.

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a set of amendments, which apply to new and existing ships that have IBC/BCH Code Certificates of Fitness or Noxious Liquid Substances and come into force on 01 January 2021.

Amendments to the IBC Code / Chapters 17, 18, 19 and 21

The carriage requirements for all products have been reassessed, and most of them have been revised, due to the revision of criteria for assigning appropriate carriage requirements for products. New products have been listed under Chapter 17 and few products have been moved from Chapter 18 to Chapter 17.

These amendments modify the carriage requirements for some products. For example, some products currently categorized as non-toxic cargoes will become toxic cargoes.

For some products, only operational changes may be sufficient to comply with the new carriage requirements, while, for some products, important modifications to the ship’s structure/ equipment may be necessary to carry such products after 1 January 2021[1]. Alternatively, Owners may choose not to carry such products.

As a result, each ship carrying dangerous chemicals or noxious liquid substances in bulk will have its list of products that it may carry amended along with a new Certificate of Fitness prior 1 January 2021.

Amendments to MARPOL Annex II

The amendments have newly defined persistent floating products (“persistent floater(s)”) and impose stricter prewash requirements. These have been adopted to strengthen, in specified sea areas (North West European waters, Baltic Sea area, Western European waters and Norwegian Sea), discharge requirements for cargo residues and tank washings containing persistent floating products with a high-viscosity and/or a high melting point that can solidify under certain conditions, following concerns about the environmental impact of permissible discharges.

Consequential amendments to the IBC Code have been made to identify the products that are subject to pre-washing requirements as required by MARPOL Annex II.

As a result, the amendments impact the standard format of the Procedures and Arrangements (P&A) Manual, which has been revised to incorporate prewash procedures and instructions on how to deal with tank washings for persistent floating products.

Therefore, the P&A Manual corresponding to the revised standard format needs to be provided to Dromon Engineers for re-approval and be on board prior 01 January 2021.

All above amendments have been adopted through IMO Resolutions MEPC.315(74), MEPC.318(74), MEPC.319(74), MSC.460(101) and MSC.463(101).

Act now

Owners/ Managers/ Operators of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk should take into consideration to above amendments and ensure compliance prior 01 January 2021.

[1] When a product is loaded prior to 1 January 2021, and unloaded after this date, the relevant provisions of the IBC/BCH Code at the time of loading are applicable until the product has been unloaded.

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