What are the new IMO regulations on carbon intensity?

January 11, 2023 /

From November 2022 new frameworks have come in which require ships to improve their energy efficiency in the short term, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in the longer term and lowering their carbon intensity.

From 1 January 2023 it will be mandatory for all ships to calculate their attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) to measure their energy efficiency and to initiate the collection of data for the reporting of their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.

IMO state that "Decarbonizing international shipping is a priority issue for IMO and we are all committed to acting together in revising our strategy and enhancing our ambition," Mr. Lim said. "These latest amendments build on IMO energy-efficiency measures which were first adopted in 2011 and strengthened since - the CII and EEXI measures represent the next stage in our work to meet the targets set in the Initial IMO GHG Strategy."

"IMO Member States are currently actively engaged in the process of revising the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships with a view to adoption of a revised Strategy in mid-2023. Member States are also engaged in developing a basket of candidate mid-term measures, including technical and economic elements, that will set global shipping on an ambitious path to phasing out GHG emissions towards the middle of this century. We are, in tandem, working to support Member States in their implementation of measures and to ensure that no one is left behind in this transition towards a decarbonized future for shipping" Mr. Lim said.

What are the new mandatory measures?

As a stimulus to reduce carbon intensity of all ships by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008 baseline, ships will be required to calculate two ratings: their attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) to determine their energy efficiency, and their annual operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and associated CII rating. Carbon intensity links the GHG emissions to the amount of cargo carried over distance travelled.

When do the measures come into force?

The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI are in force from 1 November 2022. The requirements for EEXI and CII certification come into effect on 1 January 2023. This means that the first annual reporting will be completed in 2023, with initial ratings given in 2024. 

The measures are part of IMO's commitment under its 2018 Initial Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships to reduce carbon intensity from all ships by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. 

What is an Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)?

A ship's attained EEXI indicates its energy efficiency compared to a baseline. Ships attained EEXI will then be compared to a required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index based on an applicable reduction factor expressed as a percentage relative to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) baseline. It must be calculated for ships of 400 gt and above, in accordance with the different values set for ship types and size categories. The calculated attained EEXI value for each individual ship must be below the required EEXI, to ensure the ship meets a minimum energy efficiency standard. 

What is a Carbon Intensity Indicator rating?

The CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of a ship's operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.  The actual annual operational CII achieved must be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII. This enables the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined.

How will the new ratings work?

Based on a ship's CII, its carbon intensity will be rated A, B, C, D or E (where A is the best). The rating indicates a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. The performance level will be recorded in a "Statement of Compliance" to be further elaborated in the ship's Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).

A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E for one year, will have to submit a corrective action plan to show how the required index of C or above will be achieved. Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B.

 A ship can run on a low-carbon fuel clearly to get a higher rating than one running on fossil fuel, but there are many things a ship can do to improve its rating, for instance through measures, such as:

  • hull cleaning to reduce drag;
  • speed and routeing optimization; 
  • installation of low energy light bulbs; and
  • installation of solar/wind auxiliary power for accommodation services.

How do the measures fit into IMO's decarbonization strategy?

The introduction of mandatory EEXI and CII comes under the framework of the Initial IMO Strategy for Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, adopted in 2018. The Initial Strategy sets out candidate short- mid- and long-term measures.

The introduction of EEXI and CII measures falls under the Strategy's short-term measures which commit IMO to a target of reducing carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. 

How will the impact of the new regulations be assessed? 

IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements by 1 January 2026 at the latest and develop and adopt further amendments as required.

In adopting the measure, MEPC also considered the outcomes of a comprehensive impact assessment of the measure which examined potential negative impacts on States, and agreed to keep the impacts on States of the measure under review so that any necessary adjustments can be made. MEPC also agreed that disproportionately negative impacts of the measure should be assessed and addressed, as appropriate.

What about new and alternative fuels for ships?

New fuels will be crucial for decarbonizing the shipping sector. IMO held the Second IMO Symposium on low- and zero-carbon fuels for shipping: "Ensuring a just and inclusive transition towards low-carbon shipping" on 21 October 2022 to look at the challenges and opportunities that renewable fuel production represents in the context of shipping decarbonization, particularly for developing countries, SIDS and LDCs, while also assessing what other elements could constitute a just and equitable transition.

Where can I download the regulations and guidelines? 

Please download the revised MARPOL Annex VI (2021 Revised MARPOL Annex VI) and related guidelines via this page: Index-of-MEPC-Resolutions-and-Guidelines-related-to-MARPOL-Annex-VI

For more information or if you need help understanding the changes please contact us and we can help.

Source: IMO.org / The Loadstar