Mexico has recently begun taking steps toward ratifying the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI, an International Maritime Organization (IMO) air pollution agreement. As part of the process, the country is preparing to submit a proposal to the IMO to establish a Mexican Emission Control Area (ECA). To provide a classification perspective, ABS recently participated in a workshop hosted by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), in coordination with Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), and joined by representatives from the US and Canada.
Homero Guerra, ABS Regional Vice President for Mexico and Equatorial America, introduced the role of class organizations and explained how they fit into the regulatory scheme under the flag state. “As a global marine and offshore classification leader, ABS regularly works with industry and regulators to provide guidance and support that advances its mission of safety,” said Guerra.
Throughout the three-day workshop, participants heard from key stakeholders on lessons learned from implementing MARPOL Annex VI and establishing ECAs in their respective country. As an independent third party, ABS was invited to present on the issues owners face in complying with more stringent global and ECA fuel sulphur limits which led to an extended discussion on the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers). ABS presenters also introduced the energy efficiency aspects of Annex VI, including design considerations, onboard energy management and the recently introduced fuel oil data collection system.
The workshop concluded with a discussion on the strategic process, opportunities and obligations of each stakeholder once this key environmental proposal is authorized by the Mexican Congress and approved by the IMO.