MARPOL 2017 Consolidated edition – first impressions

Today I received this beauty as a gift from the Navigation Officer. Not that he is trying to tell me something but we had these new books on order for a while and we just received them today.


Of course, the first question everyone around had was “what changed?”. I was wondering the same and as usual, when I wonder something, I google it. To my disappointment I could not find any articles to summarize the changes but instead a multitude of websites from where you can buy the new edition, e-book or hard copy, whatever works best for you. By the way, if you are interested to buy it, it costs around US $130 from what I’ve noticed and there is also an app available in Play Store.


Disappointed with my google search and I knew that the question “what changed” will get back to me very soon I decided to browse through the actual books (2011 and 2017 editions) and get a better understanding on what differentiate them. No, I did not read the whole new edition (yet) but I did try to identify the new chapters and regulations. And no, I will not go into too many legislative details but what I can do, is give you a quick, simple summary on what seems to be the changes on the new 2017 edition.

Basically, the new MARPOL 2017 Consolidated edition includes all the amendments that have been adopted in the last years (keeping in mind the previous MARPOL edition was published in 2011 so a lot of things changed since then) by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

At first glimpse, this is what I’ve noticed:

Annex 1 Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Oil

One of the most important and comprehensive Annexes of the convention, here we get 2 new chapters (“Verification of compliance with the Provisions of this Convention” and “International Code for Ships operating in Polar Waters”) and 47 Regulations instead of 43 what we had before. The Appendices seem to remain the same although I did not go into details to check each form to see if there are any changes.

Annex 2 Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk

Same as Annex I, we have the same 2 new chapters (same titles) bringing 4 new regulations to the existing 18 from before. The structure of appendices to Annex II seem to be the same as well.

Annex 3 Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form

This Annex, I believe had the least changes. Only one new chapter and two new regulations added to the new edition. There is no reference to the Polar Code here either from the looks of it.

Annex 4 Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
Here we are back to our two new chapters (same as Annex 1) that bring 4 new regulations to this Annex but we also have a new regulation in one of the older chapters regarding sewage reception facilities for passenger ships in special areas (Chapter 4, Reg 13). Having sailed in the Baltic I know exactly how important it is to have proper reception facilities when you sail in a special area. No changes in the Appendix structure.

Annex 5 Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships

Here the regulations are slightly renamed and reorganized. Together with the same two new chapters as Annex 1, we now have a total of 14 Regulation instead on 9 in the old edition. The Form of the Garbage Record Book in the Appendix I know for a fact that is now different than the old edition too (we just ordered the new books with the new format).

Annex 6 Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

In my opinion, this Annex had the most changes with the new revision. With the increased focus lately on global warming, emissions and ship efficiency it really does not come as a surprise. The regulations have increased to 25 instead of 18 in the past. There are again two new chapters, only this time one regarding “Regulations on energy efficiency for ships” and the other one on verification of compliance, same as all the other annexes. There is also a new Appendix too that provides the Form of International Energy Efficiency (IEE) Certificate, Appendix VIII.

Again, I did not browse every page on the book to see all the details and changes (and I am sure they are quite a lot) but I did try to make an idea on what is new. For sure I will need to browse further in the following days/ weeks.

If you have additional information or questions on what is new in the 2017 MARPOL edition I would love to hear more about it in the comment section.

Time to get some rest now and get ready for St George (Grenada) tomorrow. God, I love the Caribbean!



4 thoughts on “MARPOL 2017 Consolidated edition – first impressions

  1. Yatin says:

    Interesting read. Do you guys carry around any ballast water at all and if yes do you ever have to discharge the same? Interested to know how the upcoming Ballast Water Convention will affect you guys.

    Yatin – Chief Officer on Oil Tankers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luis- Nav Officer XP says:

    I received my book yesterday, thanks to your comments and tips i was already prepared for the changes, i have to read the hole book but this blog was a great help to overview it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s