So you are finished with your Monitoring Plan. You stated how you will gather the required figures, formed the internal monitoring procedures and, obviously, you ended by writing that all this data will be fed into Benefit Vessel Performance Module and the Benefit MRV Module will do the rest. You are right!

During our visits to and discussions with customers we came across several repeating questions regarding the reporting part and we thought it might be a good idea to share our thoughts on these with the rest of the Benefit community. We hope that the below points will clarify some grey areas regarding the MRV reporting procedure and how Benefit will help with this. In any case you may participate in the discussion with your comments or questions but let’s first start with the basics:

The MRV Voyage is a voyage that starts or ends in an EU port for loading or unloading of cargo (aka the “port of call”) and applies to all vessels above 5000GT. A few customers have asked us whether anchoring outside a port of call for a long time after unloading, for example because they don’t know the next loading port, should be reported. We understand their concern but unfortunately the regulation does not make distinctions! They will normally report the voyage to the next commercial port with whatever consumptions, distances or duration is involved!

The most difficult part of the MRV is setting the start and end point of an MRV Voyage. After that, the calculation of emissions, distances and durations is just a matter of simple maths (or not so much)! In several occasions providers of hardware sensors have approached customers of ours trying to persuade them that by using their sensors will have the required MRV reporting ready. What they mean in most cases is that their sensors satisfy one or more of the data acquisition methods for the logging of consumptions and/or distances. Apart from that, the reporting itself requires data that still needs to be inputted by the user, mainly the starting/ending points of the voyage as we will talk about later.

Another question we usually get has to do with the final form of the reports and the calculations and whether these will be ready in Benefit system by August. First of all it is not 100% certain that the final reporting layout and the associated calculations are locked, although we shouldn’t expect any changes at least in the data to be logged! Secondly it is NOT required in the Monitoring Part to show how the final MRV reported figures (i.e. the annual report results) are deduced in Benefit. You only need to state that the system you have in place is capable of gathering the required raw data from which the final results are calculated. And Benefit Vessel Performance module DOES provide all this data.

The annual reporting will start being submitted from 2019 for the period 2018 so by 1/1/2018 the latest you have to have your crew trained on how to insert data in the module.

And now comes the obvious question:

Do the crew have to change the way they have been working with the Vessel Performance module? Our answer is NO and this is something we struggled to achieve in our system in order seamlessly incorporate the MRV into the crew’s reporting procedures.

Benefit Vessel Performance Module always allowed users to input the daily ROBs, the distances travelled at sea and at portas well as the critical – MRV wise – port activities such as berthing, anchoring, bunkering etc. We will leave the sea part of the voyage out of this discussion for now since this is a critical part for the performance of the vessel and we presume that the Ops department is monitoring closely to ensure that data is being inserted correctly aided by the controls the system has already for the input of ROBs and consumptions. We will however focus on the port part of the voyage for which a great deal of discussions, clarifications and amendments have been going on even at EU MRV working groups level.

A port stay according to MRV is the part of the voyage that the vessel STOPS at a port, not just reduces speed from full ahead. So the port stay will be the time between berth-unberth or between anchor drop and anchor heave if no berthing exists. This means that any port movements and anchoring prior to or after the berth-unberth period are part of the sea leg (not so much of a performance monitoring regulation, uh?!)! To be able to report these events, Benefit Vessel Performance module contains 4 port activities: Berth, Unberth, Anchor Drop, Anchor Heave with the relevant date/time and ROB information to allow calculation of consumptions. As long as these activities are reported correctly in terms of time and ROBs then we get the port limits.

Recent MRV clarifications have stated that for consequent berths/unberths the port stay starts with the first berth and ends with the last unberth – the same applies for consequent anchorings. Any movements within these two points (e.g. shiftings) are not to be considered in the distance travelled at sea! However if the port is an EU commercial port then the consumptions (and consequently emissions) between these two points MUST be reported as emissions within EU ports.

And the final, though not so abvious, handling of the Ship to Ship activities… Initially the regulation did not have any provision for this kind of operations. This does not come as a surprise since the industry the regulation comes from, i.e. aviation, does not have anything similar. As we usually joke about, STS equivalent in aviation would be to open the aircraft door enroute and throw out passengers or cargo in a desperate hope that another aircraft flying next to it would catch them! Although there are quite a few action movie stars that would wonder why the loughs!

The STS in the MRV context is handled as follows:

If the STS occurs within port limits where no berthing occurs then the STS is considered as the port stay part of the voyage. If berthing occurs then the port stay part is from the start of the STS to the unberthing, if berth happened after the STS or from the berth to the end of the STS if berthing occurred before the STS.

Now if the STS occurs outside port limits then the stoppage for STS DOES NOT qualify as port of call. The MRV voyage in this case starts from the unberth from the previous port of call and finishes with the berthing to the next port of call irrespectively of when these calls happened. So what changes in this case with regards to the results? It is only the cargo calculations that are affected, the rest of the figures (consumptions, distances, times) being calculated exactly as if the voyage started from the previous port of call before the STS and ended to the next one following the STS. In this case the cargo carried is the weighted average of the cargo before and after the STS by the distances travelled before and after the STS respectively. So if a vessel leaves a port ballast and stops for STS halfway to the next port of call, it is considred as having carried half the cargo loaded during the STS.

And now another obvious question: How does the crew going to report all these in Benefit Vessel Performance module? The answer follows and it is not that complicated:

A new port activity exists in the system that handles the start and end of an STS operation – STS Commence and STS Complete. Each of these two activities requires that the user inputs the date/time and ROBs at that moment. This will allow setting the MRV port limits within port.

For STS outside port all you have to do is create a Port Arrival report selecting the port called “at sea” and input there all relevant STS activities (cargo loadings/discharges, drifting or anchoring etc). You may use the STS commence and complete activities in this case although it is not necessary. A port arrival “at sea” with different cargo on arrival and departure is more than enough for the system to understand that an STS operation took place.

So let’s resume what the crew must do in Benefit Vessel Performance module to let MRV Module calculate the EU MRV annual report:

  1. Insert the port activities related to the MRV in the system whenever they occur, i.e. Berth, Unberth, Anchor Drop, Anchor Heave, Port movements such as Shiftings, Drifts Transits etc, STS commence, STS complete and Bunkering.

Period!

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