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Forthcoming Regulations


Following a request from members to receive an impact-assessment timetable of regulatory issues likely to have an impact on Bulk Carriers, the Secretariat has drawn up the following table to give members advance notification of known legislative changes.

As an important caveat, the information shown below is insufficient to give companies a full understanding of what is required from them to implement the requirements of International conventions or other national requirements.  Further advice from Classification Societies – for example to ABS, DNV and LR, to whom we acknowledge our thanks for some of the core information contained below, and your Flag State must be sought prior to making strategic decisions or incurring capital expenditure.

The information is in two parts and is designed (errors and omissions excepted) to reflect requirements for Dry Bulk vessels over 10,000 dwt engaged on international voyages :-  A) Regulations etc which have entered into force in the last 12 months or so; and B) Regulations etc entering into force in the future. Any date in [square brackets] is estimated and may be subject to change.  The requirements are broadly sorted into the Intercargo Work Programme summary headings but are listed in chronological order.

Advice of regulatory activity not mentioned below is welcomed and should be sent to

Information updated to : 24 Dec 2012

A) Regulations introduced in immediate past appropriate to Intercargo entered tonnage (chronological)

Short title Enabling convention Description Ship type E.i.f
Casualties – Emergency Towing Procedures SOLAS II-1/3-4 Capabilities to tow ship from fore and aft positions All 1.1.12
Design Standards – Liferafts Life Saving Appliances (LSA Code) Capacity for persons 75kg raised to 82.5 kg All 1.1.12
Design Standards – smoke extraction SOLAS 11-2

FSS (Fire Safety Systems) Code

Electrical and audible signal charges All 1.1.12
Port State Control – IAPP Supplement of IAPP Certificate To specify the Sulphur content of bunker used by ship as per BDN All 1.2.12
Air Emissions – EEDI Calculations MARPOL VI Reference EEDI Calculation Guidelines establish the reference lines for each ship type to comply with a required EEDI All 2.3.12
Air Emissions – EEDI Survey & Certification MARPOL VI Revisions to the EEDI S & C G/L. Preliminary verification at the design stage which should include model tests for determining the ships power curve.  Development of an EEDI Technical File (details of how the attained EEDI was created) which is then subject to a final verification after sea trials. All 2.3.12
Environmental – Recycling Ship Recycling Convention Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities (Competent Authority) All 2.3.12
Environmental – Recycling Ship Recycling Convention Guidelines for the Authorization of Ship Recycling Facilities (Ship Recycling Facility Plan) All 2.3.12
Reception Facilities – Regional Reception Facilities Plan MARPOL VI; I, II. IV and V, VI Guidelines to assist Governments All 2.3.12
Reception Facilities – SIDS MARPOL VI; I, II. IV and V Small Island Developing states can develop regional arrangements in / outside Special Areas.  Must be approved by the Committee All 2.3.12
Casualties – Pilot ladders SOLAS V Pilot ladders.  To be certificated by the manufacturers.  No mechanical pilot hoists All 1.7.12
Design Standards – Bridge Alarms SOLAS 1/19.2 Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm Systems (BNWAS) – to be installed and working.  Earlier systems installed to 1.7.11 may be permissible Cargo 1.7.12
Design Standards – Coatings SOLAS 11 – 1/3-2 Double Side Skin Bulk Carriers to be coated in accordance with IMO’s approved Coating Performance Standards. Also dedicated seawater ballast tanks Bulk 1.7.12
Design standards – Fire Safety Systems FSS (Fire Safety Systems) Code FSS Code revised : Fixed Fire output systems used as output devices to other FSS e.g. fire dampers All 1.7.12
Design Standards – Fire Test Procedures (FTP) FTP New procedures for testing All 1.7.12
Environmental – Invasive Species – USA requirement (Anti Fouling System Convention) For US flagged ships and others operating in US waters.  This is a certification compliance issue at this stage given that the AFS Convention entered into force on 17.9.08 (with all coatings made applicable 60 months – i.e. 17.9.13, after this date) All 21.11.12
Navigation – AIS SOLAS V AIS annual testing to verify correct programming of ships I.D All 1.7.12
Navigation – EGC SOLAS IV / 7 Enhanced Group Call (ECG) to be type approved by INMARSAT Cargo 1.7.12
Port State Control – SOLAS I certs SOLAS 1 Certificate revision when alternative design and arrangements for machinery and electrical installations / fire protection / LSA applied All 1.7.12
Air Emissions – US ECA Chapter IV ECA to USA / Canada : 1.8.12 = 1.0% S in fuel; 1.1.15 = 0.1%.  Steamships built on / before 1.8.11 not designed to use distillates exempted until 1.1.20.  For 200nm transit, its 1%.  SoX scrubbers OK provided meets equivalence All 1.8.12


B) Regulations for introduction in future appropriate to Intercargo entered tonnage (chronological)


Short title Enabling convention Description Ship type E.i.f
Air Emissions – EEDI MARPOL VI Attained EEDI is not to exceed a maximum.  Chapter IV – Reg 21 ?.  International Energy Efficiency Certificate introduced. B/C & OBO 1.1.13
Air Emissions – SEEMP MARPOL VI / Ch IV SEEMP to be provided and kept on board.  Ships Energy Efficiency Management Plan All 1.1.13
Cargoes – IMSBC IMSBC Revisions.  New schedules. Shippers to declare whether “Harmful to the Marine Environment” (HME), Exemptions for Special Areas generally withdrawn.  See further guidance under “Reception Facilities” on Intercargo website All 1.1.13
Design Standards – Lifeboats MSC 81(70) New tests for lifeboats and equipment installed – for ships with keel laid after this date 1.1.13 All 1.1.13
Reception Facilities – Garbage Management Plans MARPOL V Guidelines and revisions : discharge of cargo hold cleaning agents HME in HWW prohibited All 1.1.13
Navigation – ECDIS SOLAS 1 / 19.2 ECDIS to be fitted unless scrapping within 2 years.  Also, Bride Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) required and operational when underway. Cargo 1.7.13 (where keel laid : but age / size dependent)
Navigation – Ship Reporting Great Belt SOLAS V / II Mandatory reporting for ships with an air draft greater that 15m in / to ports in BELTREP (Danish Great Belt) All 1.7.13
Air Emissions – SCR MARPOL VI – NoX Code Scheme B for Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) engines which cannot be pre-certificated on a test bed All 1.8.13
Reception Facility MARPOL V (see MEPC 219/63) No discharging of cargo hold cleaning agents deemed HME in HWW; no discharge of incinerator ash (previously allowed 12nm outside Non Special Areas) All 1.8.13
Reception Facilities – Regional plans MARPOL 1; IV; V Reception facilities permissible through “Regional Reception Facilities Plan” for Small Island Developing States All 1.8.13
Training, Manpower & Human Element Maritime Labour Convention Enters into force All 20.8.13
Environmental – Invasive Species Anti Fouling System Convention Final date for non-compliant coatings, noting the Convention entered into force on 17.9.08.  Most owners will have complied some time in advance of this date. All 17.9.13
Air Emissions – Puerto Rico ECA : aka US Caribbean Sea MARPOL VI (see MEPC.1/Circ 755) ECA enters into force : 1.1.14 = 1.0% S in fuel; 1.1.15 = 0.1%.  Ships not designed to use distillates exempted until 1.1.20. All 1.1.14

(some exemption to 1.1.20)

Casualties Loadline Annex B / Annex II . Reg 47 New definition of the northern boundary of the Southern Winter Seasonal Zone All 1.1.14 (expected)
Design standards – ESP SOLAS XI-I Enhanced Survey Programme – IMO 744 replaced by new International Code on Enhanced Programme of Inspections (A.1049 (27) Bulk 1.1.14
Design standards – Fire Safety Systems FSS (Fire Safety Systems) Code FSS Code revised for fixed fire systems All 1.1.14
Design standards – Lifeboat testing SOLAS III / 20 Free Fall Life Boats (FFLB). Simulated tests OK during annual and 5 year overload (added to already OK 3m abandon ship drills) All 1.1.14
Design standards – Speed Logs SOLAS V / 19 Two separate devices for speed through the water and speed over the ground required All 1.1.14
Navigation – VDRs SOLAS V Voyage Data Recorder standards amended – fixed recording medium and float free recording medium All 1.1.14
Operational – Load Lines ICLL 68/88 Coordinated dates of Southern Winter Seasonal Zone amendments (Load Line) All 1.1.14
Piracy – Reporting SOLAS V – LRIT Data Distribution facilities for LRIT enhanced in Gulf of Aden / Wider Indian Ocean enhanced to include polling functionalities to more accurately identify ships in HRA All 1.1.14
Casualties – Self Contained Breathing Apparatus SOLAS – see MSC 338 (91) All Ships must be able to re-charge SCBAs on board when discharged in drills etc. Or have the capability of replacing used cylinders on board All 1.7.14
Design standards – on load release hooks SOLAS III / 1.5 Non compliant on-load release hooks to be replaced by complaint products (see : MSC.1/Circ 1392) All 1.7.14 – first Dry Dock after then; latest 1.7.19
Environmental – noise SOLAS – see MSC 337 (91) MSC 91 agreed on-board noise limits its circular MSC 337 (91).  These will apply to new-buildings where the contract has been placed on/after 1 July 2014 or for delivery on/after 1 July 2018. All 1.7.14
Navigation – CAM Alarms SOLAS V – Bridge Equipment GMDSS amendments including Central Alert Management (CAM) systems to meet standards All 1.7.14
Design Standards – Single Side Skin SOLAS 11-1 Single Side Skin designed and built to Class Rules which are GBS compliant verified by IMO to meet GBS in B/C >150m B/C 1.7.16 (starts)
Design Standards – Design Life SOLAS 11-1 GBS Compliance Design Life of 25 years North Atlantic rules in B/C >150m B/C 1.7.16
Environment – NoX Code NoX Code Tier III standard – for ships in ECA All 1.7.16
Casualties – Self Contained Breathing Apparatus SOLAS – see MSC 338(91) SCBA must have a capacity of at least 1,200 litres. Ships constructed on/before 1.1.02 need not phase out existing apparatus. All 1.7.19
Environment – CFCs MARPOL VI / 12 Use of CFCs All 1.1.20