International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships,
1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978.
The MARPOL Convention is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978 respectively and updated by amendments through the years.
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO and covered pollution by oil, chemicals, harmful substances in packaged form, sewage and garbage. The Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1978 MARPOL Protocol) was adopted at a Conference on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention in February 1978 held in response to a spate of tanker accidents in 1976-1977. (Measures relating to tanker design and operation were also incorporated into a Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1974 Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974).
IMO ship pollution rules are contained in the “International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships”, known as MARPOL 73/78. On 27 September 1997, the MARPOL Convention has been amended by the “1997 Protocol”;, which includes Annex VI titled “Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships”. MARPOL Annex VI sets limits on NOx and SOx emissions from ship exhausts, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances.
The IMO emission standards are commonly referred to as Tier I…III standards. The Tier I standards were defined in the 1997 version of Annex VI, while the Tier II/III standards were introduced by Annex VI amendments adopted in 2008, as follows: