IMO GETS ôPRESTIGEö-RELATED MARPOL AMENDMENTS FROM EU
William O’Neil, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, said Friday that all 15 member states of the European Union have sent to the IMO a set of formal proposals to change provisions relating to single-hull tankers in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
The proposals call for a further acceleration of the phase-out timetable for single-hull tankers, and an immediate ban on the carriage of heavy grades of oil in single-hull tankers.
The proposals' intent is to prevent another costly wreck such as that of the tanker ‘Prestige’ off the coast of Spain.
The EU proposals will now be circulated among all IMO member states and parties to MARPOL, prior to being considered at the next session of IMO’s marine protection environment committee in July.
Meantime, the IMO secretariat will prepare an impact study of the new proposals. The study is to include the volume of oil and oil products carried by tankers both globally and regionally, the number of single-hulled vessels affected by the proposals, and the capacity of shipyards needed to replace single-hull tankers that would be withdrawn from service.
The MARPOL Convention is the prime international convention covering the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. MARPOL is a combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978, updated since by amendments.
The IMO is the United Nations Specialized Agency responsible for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.