24 April 2018 – The Philippines is now committed to the global efforts to reduce air pollution from ships as it deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Protocol of 1997 to Amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships,1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL Annex VI).

MARPOL Annex VI, first adopted in 1997, limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrous oxides (NOx), and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS). MARPOL Annex VI also regulates shipboard incineration, and the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from tankers.

In addition, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Gilberto Asuque, deposited on 24 April 2018 to the IMO Secretary General the Instruments of Accession to:
1. the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, (on measures to further improve the safety of ships, particularly tankers); and
2. the Protocol of 1988 Relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (Load Line Protocol 88).

The IMO Secretary General is the designated depository of all instruments of ratification or accession by Member States to IMO Conventions. In accordance with IMO regulations, these 3 IMO instruments will become effective for the Philippines three months from the date of deposit or on July 2018.

PermRep Asuque handed over to Director Frederick Kenney of the IMO Legal and External Affairs Division, representing Secretary General Kitack Lim, the Accession documents signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Senate Resolutions concurring to the accession by the Philippines to the 3 IMO Instruments.:

PermRep Asuque deposited the Instruments of Accession during the 105th Session of the IMO Legal Committee (LEG 105) which discussed under agenda item 10 the “Review of the Status of Conventions and Other Treaty Instruments Emanating from the Legal Committee”. He was joined in this simple ceremony by Mr. Volker Schöfisch, LEG 105 Chair, and Ms. Emma Sarne, Alternate Permanent Representative to IMO, Mr. Arsenio Lingad, Maritime Attaché – MARINA; and Atty. Virgilio B. Calag, Chief, Prosecution Division, Legal Services, MARINA, all delegates to LEG 105.

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