Liberia First Major Flag State to Ratify Treaty

Wednesday, September 04, 2002
LISCR, First in Safety & Security, today applauded Liberia for taking the lead and ratifying MARPOL Annex VI, an international convention to prevent air pollution from ships. "Liberia is the first major flag state to ratify MARPOL Annex VI," said Yoram Cohen, CEO of LISCR, the U.S. company that manages the day-to-day operations of the registry. "We are proud of the registry's leading role to protect the environment. This action gives needed momentum to ensure the treaty is implemented by the deadline at end of the year." To implement the treaty, it must be ratified by 15 International Maritime Organization (IMO) members and flags, representing 50 percent of the world tonnage. LISCR is the second largest ship registry, with about 1,800 vessels (56 million gross tons) or about ten percent of the world's ocean-going fleet. Liberian flagged ships transport the largest volume of cargo to the U.S., which includes about a third of the nation's imported crude oil. MARPOL Annex VI MARPOL, administered by the IMO, is the most important global treaty to prevent pollution from ships. Annex VI, Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, is a proposed addition to the convention. It limits the discharge of nitrous and sulfur oxide emissions from marine diesel engines built after January 1, 2000. The treaty also bans the deliberate release of ozone depleting gases, such as halons and chlorofluorcarbons. Sulfur emissions by ships are 6 to 26 times higher than for comparable land-based engines, according to a study by the IMO. Previous annexes include: Annex I, implemented in 1983, regulates the discharge of oil; Annex II controls pollution by noxious liquid substances; Annex III sets standards for handling harmful substances; Annex IV regulates ship sewage; and Annex V prevents pollution by garbage. While the United States has signed Annex VI, it has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

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