Minimizing pollution of our oceans and seas is crucial to our oceans health. The IMO developed MARPOL to address this issue. MARPOL lays down regulations that apply to all ships flying the flag of countries that have signed the agreement, no matter where they sail. Member nations are also responsible for vessels registered on their national ship registry. By adhering to these guidelines, we can help protect our planet's natural resources and ensure a safe and sustainable future for generations to come.
- Annex I – Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil
- Annex II – Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk
- Annex III – Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried in Packaged Form
- Annex IV – Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
- Annex V – Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships
- Annex VI – Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships
How does Lloyd's Register help?
We are authorised to act on behalf of numerous flag administrations to verify that your vessels comply with MARPOL. Our involvement ranges from initial plan approval and on-board surveys to annual and renewal surveys to ensure compliance is maintained. We are also able to issue type approval certification for marine pollution prevention equipment and sewage treatment plants.
We closely monitor activities at IMO and IACS to enable us to better advise you and keep you up to date with forthcoming changes to the regulations and what they will mean to you. We also offer training courses to help you better understand the requirements.
Recent and upcoming new requirements
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 - entering into force on 1 May 2024:
IMO Resolution MEPC.361(79) introduces a new Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter (SOx ECA). In accordance with Regulation 14.7, ships operating in the MED SOx ECA need to comply from 1 May 2025. For further information see our Sulphur 2020 webpage.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulations 23, 25 and 28 - entering into force on 1 November 2022:
IMO Resolution MEPC.328(76) introduces new requirements relating to Existing Ship Energy Efficiency Index (EEXI) and Operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) for both new and existing ships. The EEXI requirements apply from the first scheduled survey completed on or after 1 January 2023 (Note: it is the actual survey date and not the survey due date that triggers compliance). On or before 1 January 2023, applicable ships of ≥5,000 gt, shall amend their SEEMP to include details relating to the vessel’s operational CII.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 - entering into force on 1 April 2022:
IMO Resolution MEPC.324(75) introduces new requirements for In-use and onboard fuel oil sampling and testing and new requirements for both new and existing ships for fuel oil sampling points. See Class News 02/2022 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 - entering into force on 1 January 2021:
IMO Resolution MEPC.286(71) introduces two new NOx Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, which requires Tier III engines for ships operating in those areas, which are constructed (keel laying) on or after 1 January 2021 or have ‘non-identical’ replacement engines or additional engines installed. See Class News 02/2018 for further guidance.
MARPOL All Annexes – Electronic Record Books - entering into force on 1 October 2020:
IMO has adopted amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II, V and VI and the NOx Technical Code, 2008, to permit the use of Electronic Record Books. The amendments are contained in Resolution MEPC.314(74), Resolution MEPC. 316(74) and Resolution MEPC.317(74). For further information see Class News 17/2020: Electronic Record Books.
MARPOL Annex VI - entering into force on 1 March 2020:
IMO Resolution MEPC.305(73) modifies Regulation 14.1 so that ships when operating outside the existing ECA for SOx emissions (Baltic, North Sea, North America & US Caribbean) any fuel oil used or carried on board shall not exceed 0.50% sulphur content. For further information see our Sulphur 2020 webpage and Class News 02/2019: Preparation for 1 January 2020 - low sulphur fuel requirement.
MARPOL Annex VI - entering into force on 1 January 2020:
Ships when operating outside the existing ECA for SOx emissions (Baltic, North Sea, North America & US Caribbean) any fuel oil used on board shall not exceed 0.50% sulphur content, under Regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI. For further information see our Sulphur 2020 webpage and Class News 08/2018: The 2020 IMO global sulphur limit.
MARPOL Annex V - entered into force on 1 March 2018:
IMO Resolution MEPC.277(70) introduces requirements related to “E-waste”, cargo residues, including the cargo hold washing water that are declared as “Harmful to Marine Environment” (HME)” and changes to the format of garbage record book. See Class News 05/2018 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 22A - entered into force on 1 March 2018:
IMO Resolution MEPC.278(70) introduces new requirements for ships of ≥5000gt to collect and report ship fuel oil consumption data from calendar year 2019. See Class News No. 33/2017 for further guidance. See also information on EU MRV regulation here.
MARPOL Annex IV Regulation 11 and 13 - entering into force on 1 June 2019:
IMO Resolution MEPC.275(69) postpones the introduction of the Baltic Sea Special Area requirements until 2019 for new passengers ships and 2021 for existing passenger ships. See Class News No.27/2015 and 06/17 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex IV Regulation 11 and 13 - entered into force on 1 September 2017:
IMO Resolution MEPC.274(69) and its corrigendum introduce changes to the format of the ISPP certificate relating to the introduction of the Baltic Sea Special Area.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 - entered into force on 1 September 2017:
IMO Resolution MEPC.271(69) introduces requirements to record when engines change over from Tier II operation to Tier III operation on applicable ships entering Tier III ECAs. See Class News 23/2017 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex I - entered into force on 1 January 2017:
IMO Resolution MEPC.266(68) introduced requirements for sludge piping to Regulation 12 of MARPOL Annex I. See Class News No.29/2016 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 - entered into force on 1 January 2016:
IMO Resolution MEPC.251(66) introduced Tier III requirements for NOx control to diesel engines. See Class News No.20/2015 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex I, Regulation 28 - entered into force on 1 January 2016:
IMO Resolution MEPC.248(66) introduced requirements for oil tankers for stability instruments which can verify intact and damage stability requirements. See Class News No.17/2015 for further guidance.
MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 13:
Clarification on NOx certification for dual fuel and gas-fuelled engines. IMO produced Guidance on the Application of Regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI Tier III Requirements to Dual Fuel and Gas-fuelled Engines, published as circular MEPC.1_Circ.854. See Class News No.10/2016 for further guidance.
For a more in-depth overview of upcoming changes to mandatory statutory regulations and instruments, see our Future IMO legislation page.