Tony Rice, Secretary General of ICOMIA has made it clear that it’s unlikely superyachts will get an exemption from MARPOL Tier III emissions targets in 2016. Instead, as he begins the final phase of lobbying to amend the regulations, he says a delay in their onset for superyachts is more likely.
“No one at this stage should be dreaming of an exemption,” Rice said by telephone when contacted about the latest developments in ICOMIA’s bid to amend maritime environmental regulations. “MARPOL Annex VI was a highly political, hard fought negotiation. No one is going to allow us to cause an unpicking of that regulation.”
Rice is in the final stretch of what has been a marathon effort to lead yards, designers and economists to work together and demonstrate for the IMO that the emissions limits unfairly impact a segment of our market. Since November, Rice has wrangled 20 design studies from 11 yards across Europe, North America and New Zealand, and commissioned studies to evaluate the consequences of the limits. While the reports are not yet available for public distribution, Rice spoke with SuperyachtNews.com exclusively about their findings. “Riccardo Engineering’s technical study shows that yacht designs are the best the industry can deliver under the proposed rules, given the size of the market and the type of fuel available today,” Rice explained. “Adroit Economics carried out the socioeconomic impact study showing potential job losses should the Tier III targets come into effect in 2016.”
As a result of these studies, which together present a formidable and clear case for international regulators, Rice is now negotiating with flag states’ delegations—the IMO members who can actually propose and support an amendment to international regulations—to table an amendment at the next meeting of the working group in May, known as MEPC 65.
“The good news is that we no longer have to do it by 8 February: IMO has allowed us until 8 March to put the proposal in; and I’m reasonably confident that we’ll end up with a number of flag states supporting a proposal,” Rice said. “My instinct is that this will not result in an exemption from Tier III targets for superyachts, but will provide a delay. The reason for that is that we cannot say categorically that the emissions target problem may not be solved in the future—the technology is too immature.”
The key question then is what amount of time might be considered a reasonable extension by the flag states and IMO itself. “We don’t know the answer to that yet. It’s a matter of negotiation with the flag states,” says Rice.
The two key technological issues that need to be overcome to allow yachts—specifically those under 500gt between 24 and 30m in length—to meet the Tier III targets are availability of ultra-low-sulphur fuels and more advanced, compact designs for catalytic reduction systems.
“There’s no certainty to all of this yet. But we’ve got the results that we’ve wanted on time so far,” Rice said. “Everyone’s done very good work; from the yards with the design studies delivered on time, support from the engine manufacturers providing data to the excellent work by Ricardo and Adroit who’ve demonstrated their quality of work and worth by doing that work for us.”
The MEPC’s 65th session, during which this amendment should get tabled takes place in London, 13-17 May. The Superyacht Management Meeting: Environment & MARPOL will run back-to-back with the Superyacht Management Meeting: Security on 25 – 26 June, in sunny Barcelona.
Details on the conference programme and panelists to be announced soon. The cost to attend this management meeting, including lunch and dinner is available for just € 400.00. Click here to register your attendance, or call +44 (0) 20 7924 4004 for more information.
(Original source: SuperyachtNews.com)
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