Statutory Alert: Revision to MARPOL Annex IV
Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Statutory Alert: Revision to MARPOL Annex IV – passenger ship discharge requirements and new performance test/standard for sewage treatment plants

New sewage discharge requirements for passenger vessels within the Baltic Sea and a new sewage treatment plant performance test/standard for all ships came into force on January 1, 2013, under MARPOL Annex IV*. These apply as follows.

Passenger ship discharge requirements

In general, the discharge of sewage from existing passenger ships will be prohibited within the Baltic Sea special area on or after January 1, 2018.

New passenger vessels will be prohibited from discharging sewage within the Baltic Sea on or after January 1, 2016.

New vessels are those:

•for which the building contract is placed on or after January 1, 2016;
•or in the absence of a building contract, the keel of which is laid on or after January 1, 2016;
•or regardless of the building contract signing date or keel laying date the delivery of which is on after January 1, 2018.

New performance test/standard for sewage treatment plants
The performance test/standard for sewage treatment plants has been updated and is detailed in section 4 of Resolution MEPC.227(64).

Passenger ships
Passenger ships operating in the Baltic Sea or any other designated special areas intending to discharge treated sewage effluent must operate an approved sewage treatment plant which meets the stringent nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard described within section 4.2 of MEPC.227(64). Existing passenger ships must comply on or after 1 January, 2018. New passenger ships must comply on or after January 1, 2016. A review will be conducted at MEPC 67 in 2014 to determine the availability of adequate and cost-effective treatment plants able to comply with this standard.

All ships
The updated performance test/standard (excluding the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard in section 4.2) will also apply to sewage treatment plants installed on board all ships, other than passenger vessels, on or after January 1, 2016.

Lloyd’s Register will issue a further Classification News after MEPC 67 in 2014 to update owners and technical managers of passenger vessels on the availability of treatment plants that can meet the nitrogen and phosphorus removal standard; and owners and technical managers of vessels other than passenger ships on the application of the performance/test standard.

*The new requirements were adopted at the 62nd session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environmental Committee (MEPC 62) by resolution MEPC.200(62).


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