Design & Engineering Standards

Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, Chapter 4 Entering in to Force November 1, 2022

Submitted by the Office of Design and Engineering Standards

The International Maritime Organization adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships in 2018.  This initial strategy is the first milestone set out in the IMO Roadmap for developing a comprehensive strategy for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.  Consistent with this initial strategy, IMO adopted Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.  Important amendments to Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, concerning energy efficiency of existing ships and carbon intensity of international shipping, were most recently adopted and will enter into force on November 1st, 2022.   These amendments focus on goal-based (also known as “performance-based”) technical and operational measures to reduce the operational carbon intensity of certain international shipping vessels.   The full text of MARPOL Annex VI, Chapter 4, can be found in Resolution MEPC.328(76), which can be found at

The Coast Guard is working on amending the Code of Federal Regulations to implement the provisions of MARPOL Annex VI.  This proposed rule will clarify the application of Annex VI regulations, identify how the United States is exercising discretionary provisions of Annex VI, and specify procedures and criteria, as necessary, to address any gaps in the current U.S. regulatory framework for Annex VI.  This rulemaking project, assigned Regulation Identification Number 1625-AC78, is identified in the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda.  To view the Unified Agenda, visit  and select the Department of Homeland Security as the agency.

The purpose of this article is to inform owners and operators of U.S. flagged vessels of the applicability of Annex VI, Chapter 4 provisions, including the amendments that enter into force on November 1, 2022.  Owners and operators of U.S. flagged vessels that engage in voyages into waters subject to the jurisdiction or control of any foreign country will be required to show compliance with Chapter 4 and should work with their classification society to verify compliance with the applicable requirements in order to carry the appropriate international certificates as required by Chapter 4.

At this time these Chapter 4 provisions do not apply to U.S. flagged vessels that do not enter waters subject to the jurisdiction or control of any foreign country.   In addition, vessels operating solely on the Great Lakes are not subject to Chapter 4.  However, voyages that make use of the Panama Canal to transit between the U.S. Atlantic or Gulf coasts and the Pacific coasts are considered international voyages and will be required to demonstrate compliance with Chapter 4.   

The Coast Guard may exempt vessels not normally engaged in international voyages from applicability in exceptional circumstances, per the guidance found in MEPC.1-Circ.863 Recommendation on exemption of ships not normally engaged on international voyages from the requirements in Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.  Requests for exemptions should be made through the cognizant Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) and forwarded to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) for approval.  A copy of MEPC.1-Circ.863 is available on the IMO website here:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  For information call or e-mail Wayne M. Lundy, Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1379, e-mail:

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

Categories: Design & Engineering Standards

Tagged as:

2 replies »

  1. Please provice link to printable version in order to promulgate/share such information for our merchant fleet.

Leave a Reply