The Italian Navy training ship Amerigo Vespucci, which has been designated a UNICEF ‘ambassador’ vessel, has become one of the first MARPOL-compliant naval ships after receiving MARPOL certification from classification society RINA. And the rest of the Italian naval fleet, numbering roughly 70 vessels, is set to follow suit, even though there is no legal or regulatory requirement for it to do so. A ceremony to mark the Amerigo Vespucci compliance took place in Livorno Harbor on July 6, when RINA CEO Ugo Salerno made a presentation on board the vessel to its commanding officer. Also in attendance was Vice-Admiral Franco Paoli, Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Department. MARPOL 73/78, or the International Convention for the Prevention of Maritime Pollution, entered force in October 1983 and applies to merchant ships worldwide. But it is not compulsory for naval ships, and the Italian Navy is the first navy in the world to elect, in line with its environmental policy, for voluntary application of MARPOL to all its vessels. Amerigo Vespucci, which was built in 1931, it is now compliant with MARPOL Annexes I (prevention of oil pollution), IV (prevention of pollution from sewage) and V (prevention of pollution from garbage). RINA’s project will continue with the MARPOL certification of the whole Italian Navy fleet, including recent newbuildings such as the Cavour aircraft carrier and the FREMM frigates. The latter also comply with MARPOL Annex VI, which covers prevention of air pollution. In 2002, RINA developed RINAMIL, Rules for the Classification of Naval Ships.