Use of Electronic Record Book to come into force

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New MARPOL Amendments allowing for the use of Electronic Record Books were adopted for the Annex 1 – Oil Record Book Part 1 – Machinery Space and Oil Record Book Part II – Cargo/Ballast Operations, Annex II – Cargo Record Book; and Annex V – Garbage Record Book; and Annex VI for records relating to Regulation 12 – Ozone-depleting substances, Regulation 13 – Nitrogen oxides (NOX) and Regulation 14 – Sulphur oxides (SOX) and particulate matter. The regulation will come into force on 1 October 2020.

As per the definition, Electronic Record Book means a device or system, approved by the Administration, used to electronically record the required entries for discharges, transfers and other operations as required under the relevant Annex in lieu of a hard copy record book.

10 key points highlighting the features of an Electronic Record Book

  1. The use of ERB will apply to Oil Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex I, regulations 17.1 and 36.1), Cargo Record Book (MARPOL Annex II, regulation 15.1), Garbage Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex V, regulation 10.3), Ozone-depleting Substances Record Book (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 12.6), recording of the tier and on/off status of marine diesel engines (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 13.5.3), Record of Fuel Oil Changeover (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 14.6) and Record Book of Engine Parameters (NOX T echnical Code, paragraph 6.2.2.7).
  2. The objective of ERB is to allow ships to utilize their technology to reduce administrative burdens and contribute to on board environmental initiatives, e.g. reduction of paper use.
  3. An approved ERB system should only allow a complete entry to be saved for verification by the master.
  4. Such system should automatically record any attempts to manipulate or falsify any data.
  5. Electronic record books should be presented in the form as specified in relevant MARPOL Annexes in order to assist the smooth transition from hard copy record books to electronic ones.
  6. An electronic record book should have the capability to retain all records made for the minimum period as specified in each Annex of MARPOL. 
  7. All access to the ERB should use a unique personal login identifier and password for each user. This will ensure that the user making entries into the application is accountable for any false entries or omissions.
  8. All access to the application should use a unique personal login identifier and password for each user. ERB should be equipped with “Audit Logging” feature.
  9. Any change(s) to the entry by the same user or a different user should be automatically recorded and made visible both in the system and in any output presentation or printed versions of the electronic record book.
  10. The electronic record book should have the capability to allow automatic backup of data in the system to offline storage.

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