What exactly is MARPOL?

MARPOL (The International Convention for Prevention of Marine Pollution For Ships) is the main instrument used to protect the environment from accidental and intentional/operational contamination from commercial vessels and marine operations. Its aim is to reduce the potential impact of discharges from ships on the maritime environment by providing a legal framework of regulations and guidance that all ships must adhere to.

The convention is often referred to as MARPOL 73/78 because it first came into force in 1973 but was later revised in 1978. Subsequently, six annexes to the convention have been introduced to address specific areas of operation: Pollution by Oil; Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk; Pollution by Garbage from Ships; Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form; Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships; and Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships.

MARPOL Annex VI, Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships came into force on 19 May 2005 and today acts as the legislative driver for contemporary regulations implemented to reduce Ozone Depleting Substances, and NOx and SOx emissions from the global shipping industry. It encompasses regulations for the reduction of Greenhouse Gasses (GHG), including CO2, of which global shipping is responsible for at least 2.5% of the world's total emissions.


As with the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) convention, MARPOL Annexe VI is relevant to Danelec’s Voyage Data Recorder portfolio, in this case because pollution incidents caused during an accident may be recorded for investigations and training. However, it’s our Kyma brand product line that directly helps our customers to meet regulations under this Annex. Specifically, requirements for the Energy Efficiency eXisting ship Index (EEXI) – which was adopted by the IMO through the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), following acceptance of 2021 revisions to MARPOL Annex VI – can be met using the new Kyma SHaPoLi system.

Further, by enabling the optimum balance between fuel consumption, power output and ship speed, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our Ship Performance Monitoring helps ship owners and operators to meet the requirements under MARPOL Annexe VI and reduce their overall GHG output.

MARPOL 73/78 is a huge, decades-long undertaking with multiple regulations covering all aspects of potential pollution from ships. And while it was introduced initially to address the impact of merchant shipping on the maritime environment, it is today a crucial tool in the fight against man-made climate change.

With the effects of global warming already evident, reducing CO2 output is non-negotiable. This is why Danelec is committed to helping the shipping industry reach its targets by, among other initiatives, enabling ships to safely meet requirements under MARPOL, especially those implemented more recently to directly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas produced by global shipping.

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