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Verifavia Shipping warns against overcomplicating EU MRV & IMO DCS regulations

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LNG Industry,

Verifavia, the world’s leading emissions verification company for the transport sector (aviation and shipping), has warned against overcomplicating the European Union’s Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (EU MRV) and International Maritime Organisation’s Data Collection System (IMO DCS) regulations. The company highlighted a common and unhelpful misconception that data must be submitted to the verifier in a certain format, which goes beyond regulatory requirements and is placing an additional burden on shipowners and operators.

Owners and operators are well on their way to meeting the requirements of the EU MRV, as the deadline for Monitoring Plan assessment was 31 December 2017 and the initial reporting period commenced on 1 January 2018. When the data required for EU MRV has been collated, IMO DCS compliance is straightforward as it follows a very similar process.

The EU MRV system was designed to ignite the building of an international system and the IMO DCS flows directly from it. The EU MRV has 37 items on its template of requirements and the IMO DCS template has 9 items. Despite some minor differences between the two, the same methodologies are acceptable for both regulations.

Importantly, neither regulation requires data to be submitted to verifiers in a certain format; if the content is complete and compliant with the requirements of the regulations, it can be submitted in any format – from simple spreadsheets (i.e. xlsx, .csv, etc.) to advanced markup language format (i.e. xml, etc.), or more complex formats used in IT systems for monitoring vessel performance. The verifier can then extract the data as necessary to proceed with the verification process. This gives the shipowner / operator total flexibility and places the onus on the verifier to perform its role.

Julien Dufour, CEO, Verifavia Shipping, commented: “The EU MRV and IMO DCS regulations are now both in force but continue to perplex shipowners and operators. These regulations are relatively straightforward and the industry is overcomplicating its response to meeting requirements. The IMO DCS largely flows from the EU MRV and the reality is that if shipowners comply with EU MRV, they are also likely to comply with the IMO DCS. If the content submitted to the verifier is correct, the format of the data is largely irrelevant.”

Both the EU and the IMO have set out clear ambitions to reduce greenhouse (GHG) emissions from shipping, and have mandated the processes through which this will be realised. According to the EU MRV Regulation, which came into force on 1 July 2015, shipping companies with vessels of 5000 GT and above operating within the EU must prepare plans to monitor and report their carbon emissions, fuel consumption, distance sailed, time at sea, and associated transport work.

Conversely, the IMO has a data collection system roadmap through to 2023 which is focused on developing a comprehensive strategy for the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping. In April 2015, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed mandatory requirements for ships to record and report data on their fuel consumption, distance sailed, and hours underway. At the 70th meeting in October 2016, it was decided that these requirements would be adopted as modifications to MARPOL Annex VI.

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