EEDI status quo for Ro-Ro vessels

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to uphold previously agreed sector-specific energy efficiency design index (EEDI) targets for Ro-Ro passenger and Ro-Ro freight vessels. 

The committee’s latest session, MEPC 73, tightened EEDI requirements for certain ship types, but confirmed that ferries would be among the categories where it is appropriate to retain the original timeline and reduction rates. These had been set in three phases, requiring improvements of 10 per cent by 2015, 20 per cent by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2025.

After MEPC 71 in July 2017, a correspondence group was set up to review the feasibility of the targets. Recommendations were submitted to MEPC 73 following seven rounds of communications.

“Some findings in the correspondence group were not adopted by the MEPC, which I regret to say will undoubtedly create major challenges for certain sizes of container, tanker and bulk vessels,” commented Interferry Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos. “As such, we are pleased to note the IMO’s continued recognition of our particular case, where one size definitely does not fit all – ferries have very specific operational requirements which affect their design criteria.”

The decision follows another the April confirmation of a 20 per cent correction in the EEDI calculation formula for Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax vessels. Organisations and flag states had argued that the universally-applicable targets were problematical even for highly efficient Ro-Ro newbuild designs due to the diversity of such vessels. 

“Interferry totally supports the environmental objectives of the EEDI but, as with other shipping sectors, we need to ensure that the measures are fair and practicable,” added Roos.

“On the wider issue of greenhouse gases, we are also pleased to note that the IMO member states will stick to the historic agreement in April, which set binding improvement targets for the international maritime industry.  There is still much to do on developing the detailed improvement plans, but we are all much helped by having targets that are fixed in time and in level of ambition.”

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