Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems

Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Annex VI) allows ships to use exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) to comply with the 0.50 per cent m/m sulphur fuel oil limit that commenced on 1 January 2020.

The use of exhaust gas cleaning systems in Australian waters

As a party to MARPOL Annex VI, Australia permits the use of EGCS to comply with the low sulphur fuel oil limit, provided the:

  • system is approved by the ship’s flag State, or a recognised organisation appointed by the flag State in accordance with IMO requirements
  • system is operated in accordance with IMO requirements, including the IMO Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS Guidelines)
  • crew are trained on the use of the system and the system is kept in good working order, with maintenance up to date and monitoring devices fully operational
  • EGCS approval documents, as well as operational and maintenance records for the EGCS are maintained on board the ship and made available for inspection upon Port State Control Officer (PSCO) request

EGCS wash water must comply with discharge water quality criteria set out in the EGCS Guidelines. While there are no prohibitions on the discharge of wash water from EGCS in Australian waters, some port Authorities may encourage vessels to avoid discharging wash water within port limits.

Any EGCS found to be non-compliant with IMO guidelines in any respect (including, but not limited to the wash water discharge criteria) may be prohibited from use in Australian waters.

Further information on requirements for the use of EGCSs in Australian waters can be found in Marine notice 12/2022.

Last updated: 

Wednesday 9 November 2022