#Regulations "Important Regulations"


Overview of important regulations for Owners/Operators of existing ships (completeness not guaranteed)

Further links:
- Regulations on Sulphur Emissions

Subject Coming into Force Source Content Remarks
Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan

1 March 2018

1 January 2013

The SEEMP need to be updated and approved by a Flag Administration or a Recognised Organisation nominated by the flag. After confirmation of compliance the monitoring and reporting takes place every calender year.

IMO's MEPC has adopted an amendment to MARPOL Annex VI (new chapter 4) regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emmisions by ships. The aim of the amendment is to improve the energy effeciency performance of ships. To reach this goal an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new buildings will be established. Further a ship-specific Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) has to be developed by shipowners or operators for all of their ships.
all ships of 5,000 GT and above engaged in international voyages

for all cargo ships over 400gt.
Ballast Water Convention 8 September 2017 Ballast Water Convention

Ships (depending on the year of construction) must comply with the ballast water performance standard, which is requiring an approved ballast water treatment system all ships

pay attention to already existing additional national or local legislations by US, Canada, Australia, Chile, Israel, New Zealand, Buenos Aires, Scapa Flow, Vancouver, and other
Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships
after ratification by 15 states which represent not less than 40% of world fleet tonnage and whose recycling capacity is not less than 3% of their combined gt (over the last 10 years)

not yet in force
Hong Kong Convention Requirements for Shipowners:
- Restriction of Materials for any installations, re-fits, ... (TBT, PCB, ...)
- Inventory of Hazardous Materials (Booklets to be maintained over the lifetime of the ship)
- Surveys and Certification
- Final Survey (before ship recycling)
for all ships of 500 gt and upwards on international voyages

Maritime Labour Convention
20 August 2013 ILO Maritime Labour Convention The ILO's Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world's more than 1.2 million seafarers. The new labour standard consolidates and updates more than 65 international labour standards related to seafarers adopted over the last 80 years. The Convention sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the "fourth pillar" of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Source: ILO
- all ships
Amendment to MARPOL

Annex IV - Sewage

Baltic Sea becomes "Special Area"

Annex V - Garbage
Baltic Sea becomes "Special Area"
1 January 2013
MEPC.62 Summary

The MEPC adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex IV Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships to include the possibility of establishing "Special Areas" for the prevention of such pollution from passenger ships and to designate the Baltic Sea as a Special Area under this Annex. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The MEPC adopted the revised MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships. The main changes include the updating of definitions; the inclusion of a new requirement specifying that discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited, except as expressly provided otherwise (the discharges permitted in certain circumstances include food wastes, cargo residues and water used for washing deck and external surfaces containing cleaning agents or additives which are not harmful to the marine environment); expansion of the requirements for placards and garbage management plans to fixed and floating platforms engaged in exploration and exploitation of the sea-bed; and the addition of discharge requirements covering animal carcasses.
- for all ships.
Amendment to SOLAS

non-compliant lifeboat on-load release mechanisms to be replaced
1 January 2013
MSC.317(89) New SOLAS regulation III/1.5 requires that for all ships, on-load release mechanisms not complying with paragraphs to of the LSA Code, as amended by resolution MSC.320(89), be replaced or modified not later than the next scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2014, but not later than 1 July 2019.

IMO has released a Circular with Guidelines for Evaluation and Replacement of Lifeboat Release and Retrieval Systems: MSC.1/Circ.1392 (205 kB)
- for all ships.
Annual Testing of AIS
1 July 2012 MSC.308(88) The automatic identification system (AIS) shall be subjected to an annual test. The test shall be conducted by an approved surveyor or an approved testing or servicing facility. The test shall verify the correct programming of the ship static information, correct data exchange with connected sensors as well as verifying the radio performance by radio frequency measurement and on-air test using, e.g., a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). A copy of the test report shall be retained on board the ship. - for all cargo ships over 150gt.
STCW Manila Amendments
1 January 2012
(transitional period until 31 Dec 2016)
STCW - Manila Conference The Manila Amendments of STCW include a lot of changes e.g.: adaptation of rest time hours to ILO-180 and MLC, approved Bridge Resource Management knowledges for navigational watch officers, new ECDIS approved training requirements for navigational watch officers, ...
Although the amendments enter into force at the beginning of next year there is a big transitional period until 31 December 2016. But finally any endorsement of training certificates as well as the issuance of new Certificates of Competency (CoC) is a matter of Flagstates. Owners/Operators should observe corresponding flagstate circulars in this regard where national rules will be laid down or should contact their flagstate administrations for national action dates.
- for all ships.
Emergency Towing Procedures
1 January 2012 MSC.256(84) Ships shall be provided with a ship-specific emergency towing procedure. Such a procedure shall be carried aboard the ship for use in emergency situations and shall be based on existing arrangements and equipment available on board the ship. - for cargo ships.
Gas Measurement and Detection
1 January 2012 MSC.291(87) ... carriage requirement for portable instruments for oxygen measuring for tankers are included in regulation II-2/ - new and existing tankers
(Special Area)
1 May 2011 MEPC 60th Session Since 1993 the "Wider Carribean Region" was designated as Special Area under MARPOL Annex V but this regulation has not taken effekt because of missing port reception facilities within this area. Now the local states meet the criteria of sufficient reception capacity and the date on which the Regulation shall take effect has been set by MEPC60 to 1 May 2011. Ship Owners and Operators should advise their ship's crews about changed requirements on garbage disposal when sailing in that region. - for all ships.
Material Safety Data Sheet for MARPOL Annex I Cargoes and Fuel 1 January 2011 SOLAS VI/5-1,
MSC.286(86) - MSDS
Ships carrying MARPOL Annex I cargoes and marine fuel oils shall be provided with a Material Safety Data Sheet prior to the loading of such cargoes or fuels based on the recommendations developed by the Organization.

MSC.150(77) has been superseded by MSC.286(86).
MSC.239(83) - Amendments to SOLAS take effect on 1 January 2011.
all ships
Amendment to
SOLAS II-2 Reg.19

(Dangerous Goods)
1 January 2011 MSC.269(85)
Amendments to SOLAS
Ships carrying Dangerous Goods have to observe some amendments in Regulation 19, e.g. issuance of new DOC for DG, Changes in Table 19.3 and other minor amendments. - all ships carrying DG
Amendment to

(Ship-to-Ship Operation Plan)
1 January 2011 MEPC.186(59)
New Chapter 8
Every Oil Tanker of 150 gt and upwards has to hold a Ship-to-Ship Operations Plan, approved by the Administration. - all oil tankers of 150 gt upwards not later than the first survey after 1 January 2011
Revised MARPOL, Annex I
1 January 2011 MEPC.187(59)
New definitions have been added for Oil Residue (Sludge), Oil Residue (Sludge) Tank, Oily Bilge Water and Oily Bilge Water Holding Tank. Further, prohibited pumping operations between the bilge system and sludge tanks and the dealing with the disposal of oil residues (sludge) are described. Finally amendments of the Oil Record Book are required. - all ships
International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargo Code
(IMSBC Code)

1 January 2011 MSC.268(85)

Amendments to SOLAS
BC Code will be replaced by the IMSBC Code and becomes mandatory for all ships carrying solid bulk cargoes - all ships carrying solid bulk cargoes
Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System

1 January 2011 SOLAS, Amendments 2008/2009,
Chapter V,
Regulation 19

see MSC.282(86)
The purpose of a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) is to monitor bridge activity and detect operator disability which could lead to marine accidents. The system monitors the awareness of the Officer of the Watch (OOW) and automatically alerts the Master or another qualified OOW if for any reason the OOW becomes incapable of performing the OOW's duties. This purpose is achieved by a series of indications and alarms to alert first the OOW and, if he is not responding, then to alert the Master or another qualified OOW. Additionally, the BNWAS may provide the OOW with a means of calling for immediate assistance, if required.

For more info refer to:
www.bnwas.com and
IMO Resolution MSC.128(75) - Performance Standards for BNWAS (89 kB)
- cargo ships of 500gt up to 3000gt, constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the 1st survey after 1 July 2013
- cargo ships of 3,000gt and upwards, constructed before 1 July 2011, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2012
(for smaller ships and other ship types refer to SOLAS)
Electronic Chart Display and Information System

1 January 2011 SOLAS, Amendments 2008/2009,
Chapter V,
Regulation 19

see MSC.282(86)
Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) means a navigation information system which with adequate back-up arrangements can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulations V/19 and V/27 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigational chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route planning and route monitoring, and if required display additional navigation-related information.

Refer to: MSC.232(82)- Revised Performance Standards for ECDIS
- tankers of 3,000gt and upwards, constructed before 1 July 2012, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2015
- cargo ships of 50,000gt and upwards, constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2016
- cargo ships of 20,000gt up to 50,000gt, constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2017
- cargo ships of 10,000gt up to 20,000gt, constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first survey after 1 July 2018
Ozone Depleting Substances
1 July 2010 Revised MARPOL Annex VI
"... Each ship holding an IAPP Certificate shall maintain a list of equipment containing ozone depleting substances or an Ozon Depleting Substances Record Book when fitted with rechargeable systems which contain ozon depleting substances." - all ships
Adult Lifejackets
1 July 2010 Revised SOLAS Ch.III, Reg.7, Para 2.1.5
"if the adult lifejackets provided are not designed to fit persons weighting up to 140 kg and with a chest girth of up to 1,750 mm, a sufficient number of suitable accessories shall be available on board to allow them to be secured to such persons." - all ships
Risk Assessment
1 July 2010 Revised ISM Code 2010 Edition
- Safety Management Objectives should assess all identified risks to its ships, personnel and the environment and establish appropriate safeguards ...
- The Company should establish procedures, plans and instructions, including checklists as appropriate, for key shipboard operations concerning the safety of the personnel, ship and protection of the environment ...
- The Company should identify potential emergency shipboard situations, and establish procedures to respond to them ...
- all ships
Volatile Organic Compound Management Plan
1 July 2010 Revised MARPOL Annex VI
Tankers carrying crude oild, are required to have on board and implement a Volatile Organic Compound Management Plan approved by the Administration

MARSIG has created an own VOC plan based on MEPC.185(59)
- crude oil tankers
- (gas carriers)
China - Requirement to contract with a local clean up contractor
1 March 2010 Regulations of the People's Republic of China
Swedish Club Circular
operators of ships must conclude a pollution cleanup operation contract with an approved pollution cleanup company - ships carrying polluting and hazardous liquid in bulk
- other ships of above 10,000 GT
IMDG Code Amdt. 34-08
1 January 2010 IMDG Code,
VkBl. 26/2009
Regulations for the transport of Dangerous Goods. - all ships carrying Dangerous Goods
2 separate CO2 release stations
first schedules dry-docking
after 1 January 2010
FSS Code
Ch.5, §2.2.2
Ships built before 1 July 2002 and fitted with a fixed CO2 fire extinguishing system for the protection of machinery spaces and cargo pump rooms shall be provided with 2 separate controls for releasing CO2 into a protected space. - all ships built before 1 July 2002
Emergency Towing Procedures
1 January 2010 MSC.256(84) Ships shall be provided with a ship-specific emergency towing procedure. Such a procedure shall be carried aboard the ship for use in emergency situations and shall be based on existing arrangements and equipment available on board the ship. - for tankers
- for passenger ships
General Permit for vessel's in US trade
19 September 2009 Federal Register Notice, Vol 73, No.249 summary of permit requirements:
19 December 2008 - publication of final General Permit regulations,
6 February 2009 - date effective,
19 February 2009 - requirements for inspections, recordkeeping and reporting to be met,
19 June 2009 - start submission period for Notice of Intent,
19 September 2009 - Deadline for submission of Notice of Intent!
For the transitional period from now until 19 September 2009 all vessels are provisionally covered by General Permit, but requirements for recordkeeping and reporting have to be observed!
all ships
Revised Performance Standards for ECDIS 1 January 2009 SOLAS V/19,
... in addition to the general requirements set out in resolution A.694(17), the presentation requirements set out in resolution MSC.191(79), ECDIS equipment should meet the requirements of these standards and follow the relevant guidelines on ergonomic principles adopted by the Organization applies to all ECDIS equipment like dedicated standalone workstation or multifunction workstation as part if an INS
Company and Registered Owner ID Number 1 January 2009 SOLAS XI-1/3-1,
every company and registered owner shall be provided with an identification number which conforms to the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme adopted by the Organization. The company identification number shall be inserted on the certificates and certified copies thereof issued under regulation IX/4 and section A/19.2 or A/19.4 of the ISPS Code. all ships

request of such ID Numbers at Lloyd's Register Fairplay
Amendments to Damage Stability Requirements 1 January 2009 SOLAS II-1,
different requirements as per MSC.194(80) all new ships (cargo ships over 80m)
Long Range Identification and Tracking System 31 December 2008 SOLAS XI-2/14,
... shall be fitted with a system to automatically transmit information to enable, subject to the provisions of paragraph 5, the identification and tracking of the ship by contructing governments all vessels, except ships certified for operations exclusively in sea area A1
Bunkers Convention 21 November 2008 Bunkers Convention ... requires to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution, to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases, not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended. all ships over 1,000 gross tonnage
Sewage Prevention 27 September 2008 MARPOL Annex IV
approved sewage treatment plant, approved sewage comminuting and desinfecting system or sewage holding tank; certification process all ships
Anti Fouling Systems 17 September 2008 Intern. Convention on the control of harmful antifouling systems on ships ships must remove organotin anti-fouling systems from the hull or apply a sealer coat;
certification and anti-fouling record required without annual or intermediate surveys

Further EU Regulation 782/2003 has to be observed which requires TBT free coatings since 1 January 2008!
all ships of 400gt and above
Automatic Identification System
1 July 2008 SOLAS V-Reg.19 ships must be fitted with an AIS all ships constructed before 2002 and not engaged in international voyages
Water Level Detectors 1 January 2007 SOLAS II-1/23-3
... shall be fitted with water level detectors until the first intermediate or renewal survey after 1 Jan 2007 not later than 31 Dec 2009 existing single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers constructed before 1 Jan 2007
#Sulphur "Sulphur Content of Marine Fuel"

Regulation Implementation on Sulphur Content of Marine Fuel
(applicable to ships which are not fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system)

Type of Fuel / Type of Machinery Trade Area Sulphur Content Regulation Entry into Force
any Marine Fuel worldwide

3.5% m/m



in force

1 January 2020

Marine Gas Oil (MGO, DMX, DMA) EU Waters 0.1% m/m EU Directive 2012/33/EC in force
any Marine Fuel at all EU Berths 0.1% m/m EU Directive 2005/33 in force
any Marine Fuel all EU Inland Waterways 0.1% m/m EU Directive 2005/33 in force
Main Engines / Auxiliary Engines / Oil-fired Boilers to be only operated with MDO or MGO within 24 nm of California Shore MGO: 0.1 % m/m
MDO: 0.1 % m/m

California Air Resource Board

Marine Notice 2013-1

in force
Heavy Fuel Oil Panama Canal Waters incl. outer boundaries to be changed to light fuel of 3.5% m/m


OP Notice to Shipping N-1-2017

in force
any Marine Fuel at Hong Kong Berths or "at anchor" at Hong Kong roads 0.5% m/m

HK Air Pollution Control Regulation

L.N. 51 of 2015

in force
any Marine Fuel "at berth" or "at anchor" of Key Ports within Chinese ECAs (other Chinese ports of these ECAs may also implement!) 0.5% m/m Regulation of Chinese Ministry of Transportation in force
any Marine Fuel "at berth" or "at anchor" of all ports within Chinese ECAs 0.5% m/m Regulation of Chinese Ministry of Transportation 1 January 2018
any Marine Fuel within entire Chinese ECAs 0.5% m/m Regulation of Chinese Ministry of Transportation 1 January 2019
any Marine Fuel within entire Chinese ECAs 0.1% m/m Regulation of Chinese Ministry of Transportation

1 January 2020

(most probably)

any Marine Fuel

EU Waters

(which are not SECA or "at berth")

0.5% m/m EU Directive 2012/33/EC 1 January 2020