New Regulations for 2022

Jan 24, 2022 by Capt. Jake DesVergers

Among other changes this year, seafarers are to be designated “key workers,” which means priority for vaccinations and exemption from repeatedly having to prove vaccination status when crossing multiple borders.

As we say goodbye to 2021, we welcome in the New Year and look ahead to what awaits us in the world of maritime regulations. Once again, despite a global pandemic, the various regulatory bodies worked hard to bring us their best. We will see several new rules enter into force.  Below is a summary of those changes that will affect new and existing yachts this year.

MARPOL:  Amendments to EEDI Phase 3 – April 1

Phase 3 of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will modify the time period and reduction rates for new construction vessels. This significant technical measure is being implemented to promote the use of more efficient (and less polluting) equipment and engines. The EEDI provides a specific figure for an individual ship and yacht design, expressed in grams of CO2 per capacity-mile.

MARPOL:  Onboard Sampling Points – April 1

These rules introduce requirements for “in-use” sampling points. Yachts must ensure an onboard method for sampling of bunker fuel. It may require a physical modification to the existing equipment. All yachts over 400 GT with an International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) certificate must comply by the first renewal survey.

COVID-19:  Crew Change Procedures – April 1

The IMO established a comprehensive action to address seafarers’ challenges during the pandemic. These new measures include the designation of seafarers as “key workers,” the prioritization of seafarers for vaccination, and an exemption from repeated proving of vaccination status when traveling across multiple borders.

Ballast Water:  Validation of Treatment Systems – June 1

For those yachts capable of exchanging ballast water and fitted with a ballast water treatment plant, the equipment must be tested by an accredited, independent entity. This is a similar process to having a third-party expert calibrate the oily water separator or a radio surveyor for GMDSS equipment. This is a statutory requirement, so the equipment test will be overseen by the yacht’s Flag Administration or the classification society acting on behalf of the Flag Administration. 

Tokyo MOU and Paris MOU:  Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on STCW Compliance – TBD 2022

The regional authorities for Port State Control plan to conduct a CIC on seafarer compliance with the STCW Code.  No specific date has been assigned, but traditionally these actions focus on the second half of the calendar year.  Emphasis will be placed on the new requirements for refresher training and the STCW Code’s 2010 amendments.

Capt. Jake DesVergers is Chief Surveyor for the International Yacht Bureau (IYB), which provides flag-state inspection services to private and commercial yachts on behalf of several flag-state administrations.  Contact him at