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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
- 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 18.104.22.168).
- 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.
- An approved ERB system should only allow a complete entry to be saved for verification by the master.
- Such system should automatically record any attempts to manipulate or falsify any data.
- 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.
- An electronic record book should have the capability to retain all records made for the minimum period as specified in each Annex of MARPOL.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The electronic record book should have the capability to allow automatic backup of data in the system to offline storage.