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213(63) Guidelines for the development of a SEEMP
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2012 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency management plan (SEEMP)

    dd-mm-yyyy = Entry into force
Document MEPC/Res.213(63) 01-01-2013
Revokes MEPC.1/Circ.683 31-12-2012 Expired



Ingangsdatum: 01-01-2013
2012 Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency management plan (SEEMP)

    dd-mm-yyyy = Entry into force
Document MEPC/Res.213(63) 01-01-2013
Revokes MEPC.1/Circ.683 31-12-2012 Expired



1 Introduction

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1 -Introduction

1.1 These Guidelines have been developed to assist with the preparation of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (hereafter referred to as the "SEEMP") that are required by regulation 22 of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78) (hereafter referred to as the "Convention").

1.2 A SEEMP provides a possible approach for monitoring ship and fleet efficiency performance over time and some options to be considered when seeking to optimize the performance of the ship.

1.3 These Guidelines should be used primarily by ships' masters, operators and owners in order to develop the SEEMP.

1.4 A sample form of a SEEMP is presented in the appendix for illustrative purposes.

2 Definitions

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2 - Definitions

2.1 For the purpose of these Guidelines, the definitions in the Annex VI of the Convention apply.

2.2 "Company" means the owner of the ship or any other organization of person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the shipowner.

2.3 "Safety Management system" means a structured and documented system enabling company personnel to implement effectively the company safety and environmental protection policy, as defined in paragraph 1.1 of International Safety Management Code.

3 General

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3 - General

3.1 In global terms it should be recognized that operational efficiencies delivered by a large number of ship operators will make an invaluable contribution to reducing global carbon emissions.

3.2 The purpose of a SEEMP is to establish a mechanism for a company and/or a ship to improve the energy efficiency of a ship's operation. Preferably, the ship-specific SEEMP is linked to a broader corporate energy management policy for the company that owns, operates or controls the ship, recognizing that no two shipping companies are the same, and that ships operate under a wide range of different conditions.

3.3 Many companies will already have an environmental management system (EMS) in place under ISO 14001 which contains procedures for selecting the best measures for particular vessels and then setting objectives for the measurement of relevant parameters, along with relevant control and feedback features. Monitoring of operational environmental efficiency should therefore be treated as an integral element of broader company management systems.

3.4 In addition, many companies already develop, implement and maintain a Safety Management System. In such case, the SEEMP may form part of the ship's Safety Management System.

3.5 This document provides guidance for the development of a SEEMP that should be adjusted to the characteristics and needs of individual companies and ships. The SEEMP is intended to be a management tool to assist a company in managing the ongoing  environmental performance of its vessels and as such, it is recommended that a company develops procedures for implementing the plan in a manner which limits any onboard administrative burden to the minimum necessary.

3.6 The SEEMP should be developed as a ship-specific plan by the company. The SEEMP seeks to improve a ship's energy efficiency through four steps: planning, implementation, monitoring, and self-evaluation and improvement. These components play a critical role in the continuous cycle to improve ship energy management. With each iteration of the cycle, some elements of the SEEMP will necessarily change while others may remain as before.

3.7 At all times safety considerations should be paramount. The trade a ship is engaged in may determine the feasibility of the efficiency measures under consideration. For example, ships that perform services at sea (pipe laying, seismic survey, OSVs, dredgers, etc.) may choose different methods of improving energy efficiency when compared to conventional cargo carriers. The length of voyage may also be an important parameter as may trade specific safety considerations.

4 Framework and structure of the SEEMP

4 - Framework and structure of the SEEMP

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4 - Framework and structure of the SEEMP

4.1 Planning

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4.1 - Planning

4.1.1 Planning is the most crucial stage of the SEEMP, in that it primarily determines both the current status of ship energy usage and the expected improvement of ship energy efficiency. Therefore, it is encouraged to devote sufficient time to planning so that the most appropriate, effective and implementable plan can be developed.

Ship-specific measures
Recognizing that there are a variety of options to improve efficiency – speed optimization, weather routeing and hull maintenance, for example – and that the best package of measures for a ship to improve efficiency differs to a great extent depending upon ship type, cargoes, routes and other factors, the specific measures for the ship to improve energy efficiency should be identified in the first place. These measures should be listed as a package of measures to be implemented, thus providing the overview of the actions to be taken for that ship.

4.1.3 During this process, therefore, it is important to determine and understand the ship's current status of energy usage. The SEEMP then identifies energy-saving measures that have been undertaken, and determines how effective these measures are in terms of improving energy efficiency. The SEEMP also identifies what measures can be adopted to further improve the energy efficiency of the ship. It should be noted, however, that not all measures can be applied to all ships, or even to the same ship under different operating conditions and that some of them are mutually exclusive. Ideally, initial measures could yield energy (and cost) saving results that then can be reinvested into more difficult or expensive efficiency upgrades identified by the SEEMP.

4.1.4 Guidance on Best Practices for Fuel-Efficient Operation of Ships set out in chapter 5, can be used to facilitate this part of the planning phase. Also, in the planning process, particular consideration should be given to minimize any onboard administrative burden.

Company-specific measures
The improvement of energy efficiency of ship operation does not necessarily depend on single ship management only. Rather, it may depend on many stakeholders including ship repair yards, shipowners, operators, charterers, cargo owners, ports and traffic management services. For example, "Just in time" – as explained in 5.5 – requires good early communication among operators, ports and traffic management service. The better coordination among such stakeholders is, the more improvement can be expected. In most cases, such coordination or total management is better made by a company rather than by a ship. In this sense, it is recommended that a company also establish an energy management plan to manage its fleet (should it not have one in place already) and make necessary coordination among stakeholders.

Human resource development
For effective and steady implementation of the adopted measures, raising awareness of and providing necessary training for personnel both on shore and on board are an important element. Such human resource development is encouraged and should be considered as an important component of planning as well as a critical element of implementation.

Goal setting
The last part of planning is goal setting. It should be emphasized that the goal setting is voluntary, that there is no need to announce the goal or the result to the public, and that neither a company nor a ship are subject to external inspection. The purpose of goal setting is to serve as a signal which involved people should be conscious of, to create a good  incentive for proper implementation, and then to increase commitment to the improvement of energy efficiency. The goal can take any form, such as the annual fuel consumption or a specific target of Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI). Whatever the goal is, the goal should be measurable and easy to understand.

4.2 Implementation

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4.2 - Implementation

Establishment of implementation system
After a ship and a company identify the measures to be implemented, it is essential to establish a system for implementation of the identified and selected measures by developing the procedures for energy management, by defining tasks and by assigning them to qualified personnel. Thus, the SEEMP should describe how each measure should be implemented and who the responsible person(s) is. The implementation period (start and end dates) of each selected measure should be indicated. The development of such a system can be considered as a part of planning, and therefore may be completed at the planning stage.

Implementation and record-keeping
The planned measures should be carried out in accordance with the predetermined implementation system. Record-keeping for the implementation of each measure is beneficial for self-evaluation at a later stage and should be encouraged. If any identified measure cannot be implemented for any reason(s), the reason(s) should be recorded for internal use.

4.3 Monitoring

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4.3 - Monitoring

Monitoring tools
The energy efficiency of a ship should be monitored quantitatively. This should be done by an established method, preferably by an international standard. The EEOI developed by the Organization is one of the internationally established tools to obtain a quantitative indicator of energy efficiency of a ship and/or fleet in operation, and can be used for this purpose. Therefore, EEOI could be considered as the primary monitoring tool, although other quantitative measures also may be appropriate.

4.3.2 If used, it is recommended that the EEOI is calculated in accordance with the Guidelines developed by the Organization (MEPC.1/Circ.684), adjusted, as necessary, to a specific ship and trade.

4.3.3 In addition to the EEOI, if convenient and/or beneficial for a ship or a company, other measurement tools can be utilized. In the case where other monitoring tools are used, the concept of the tool and the method of monitoring may be determined at the planning stage.

Establishment of monitoring system
It should be noted that whatever measurement tools are used, continuous and consistent data collection is the foundation of monitoring. To allow for meaningful and consistent monitoring, the monitoring system, including the procedures for collecting data and the assignment of responsible personnel, should be developed. The development of such a system can be considered as a part of planning, and therefore should be completed at the planning stage.

4.3.5 It should be noted that, in order to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens on ships' staff, monitoring should be carried out as far as possible by shore staff, utilizing data obtained from existing required records such as the official and engineering log-books and oil record books, etc. Additional data could be obtained as appropriate.

Search and Rescue
When a ship diverts from its scheduled passage to engage in search and rescue operations, it is recommended that data obtained during such operations is not used in ship energy efficiency monitoring, and that such data may be recorded separately.

4.4 Self-evaluation and improvement

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4.4 - Self-evaluation and improvement

4.4.1 Self-evaluation and improvement is the final phase of the management cycle. This phase should produce meaningful feedback for the coming first stage, i.e. planning stage of the next improvement cycle.

4.4.2 The purpose of self-evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness of the planned measures and of their implementation, to deepen the understanding on the overall characteristics of the ship's operation such as what types of measures can/cannot function effectively, and how and/or why, to comprehend the trend of the efficiency improvement of that ship and to develop the improved SEEMP for the next cycle.

4.4.3 For this process, procedures for self-evaluation of ship energy management should be developed. Furthermore, self-evaluation should be implemented periodically by using data collected through monitoring. In addition, it is recommended to invest time in identifying the cause-and-effect of the performance during the evaluated period for improving the next stage of the management plan.

5 Guidance on best pratices for fuel-efficient operation of ships

5 - Guidance on best pratices for fuel-efficient operation of ships

5.1 - The search for efficiency across the entire transport chain takes responsibility beyond what can be delivered by the owner/operator alone. A list of all the possible stakeholders in the efficiency of a single voyage is long; obvious parties are designers, shipyards and engine manufacturers for the characteristics of the ship, and charterers, ports and vessel traffic management services, etc., for the specific voyage. All involved parties should consider the inclusion of efficiency measures in their operations both individually and collectively.

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5 - Guidance on best pratices for fuel-efficient operation of ships

5.1 - The search for efficiency across the entire transport chain takes responsibility beyond what can be delivered by the owner/operator alone. A list of all the possible stakeholders in the efficiency of a single voyage is long; obvious parties are designers, shipyards and engine manufacturers for the characteristics of the ship, and charterers, ports and vessel traffic management services, etc., for the specific voyage. All involved parties should consider the inclusion of efficiency measures in their operations both individually and collectively.

1 Fuel-Efficient Operations

Fuel-Efficient Operations

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Fuel-Efficient Operations

1 Improved voyage planning

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Improved voyage planning

5.2 The optimum route and improved efficiency can be achieved through the careful planning and execution of voyages. Thorough voyage planning needs time, but a number of different software tools are available for planning purposes.

5.3 IMO resolution A.893(21) (25 November 1999) on "Guidelines for voyage planning" provides essential guidance for the ship's crew and voyage planners.

2 Weather routeing

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Weather routeing

5.4 Weather routeing has a high potential for efficiency savings on specific routes. It is commercially available for all types of ship and for many trade areas. Significant savings can be achieved, but conversely weather routeing may also increase fuel consumption for a given voyage.

3 Just in time

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Just in time

5.5 Good early communication with the next port should be an aim in order to give maximum notice of berth availability and facilitate the use of optimum speed where port operational procedures support this approach.

5.6 Optimized port operation could involve a change in procedures involving different handling arrangements in ports. Port authorities should be encouraged to maximize efficiency and minimize delay.

4 Speed optimization

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Speed optimization

5.7 Speed optimization can produce significant savings. However, optimum speed means the speed at which the fuel used per tonne mile is at a minimum level for that voyage. It does not mean minimum speed; in fact, sailing at less than optimum speed will consume more fuel rather than less. Reference should be made to the engine manufacturer's power/consumption curve and the ship's propeller curve. Possible adverse consequences of slow speed operation may include increased vibration and problems with soot deposits in combustion chambers and exhaust systems. These possible consequences should be taken into account.

5.8 As part of the speed optimization process, due account may need to be taken of the need to coordinate arrival times with the availability of loading/discharge berths, etc. The number of ships engaged in a particular trade route may need to be taken into account when considering speed optimization.

5.9 A gradual increase in speed when leaving a port or estuary whilst keeping the engine load within certain limits may help to reduce fuel consumption.

5.10 It is recognized that under many charter parties the speed of the vessel is determined by the charterer and not the operator. Efforts should be made when agreeing charter party terms to encourage the ship to operate at optimum speed in order to maximize energy efficiency.

5 Optimized shaft power

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Optimized shaft power

5.11 Operation at constant shaft RPM can be more efficient than continuously adjusting speed through engine power (see paragraph 5.7). The use of automated engine management systems to control speed rather than relying on human intervention may be beneficial.

2 Optimized ship handling

Optimized ship handling

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Optimized ship handling

1 Optimum trim

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Optimum trim

5.12 Most ships are designed to carry a designated amount of cargo at a certain speed for a certain fuel consumption. This implies the specification of set trim conditions. Loaded or unloaded, trim has a significant influence on the resistance of the ship through the water and optimizing trim can deliver significant fuel savings. For any given draft there is a trim condition that gives minimum resistance. In some ships, it is possible to assess optimum trim conditions for fuel efficiency continuously throughout the voyage. Design or safety factors may preclude full use of trim optimization.

10 Improved cargo handling

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Improved cargo handling

5.32 Cargo handling is in most cases under the control of the port and optimum solutions matched to ship and port requirements should be explored.

11 Energy management

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Energy management

5.33 A review of electrical services on board can reveal the potential for unexpected efficiency gains. However care should be taken to avoid the creation of new safety hazards when turning off electrical services (e.g. lighting). Thermal insulation is an obvious means of saving energy. Also see comment below on shore power.

5.34 Optimization of reefer container stowage locations may be beneficial in reducing the effect of heat transfer from compressor units. This might be combined as appropriate with cargo tank heating, ventilation, etc. The use of water-cooled reefer plant with lower energy consumption might also be considered.

12 Fuel Type

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Fuel Type

5.35 Use of emerging alternative fuels may be considered as a CO2 reduction method but availability will often determine the applicability.

13 Other measures

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Other measures

5.36 Development of computer software for the calculation of fuel consumption, for the establishment of an emissions "footprint", to optimize operations, and the establishment of goals for improvement and tracking of progress may be considered.

5.37 Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar (or photovoltaic) cell technology, have improved enormously in the recent years and should be considered for onboard application.

5.38 In some ports shore power may be available for some ships but this is generally aimed at improving air quality in the port area. If the shore-based power source is carbon efficient, there may be a net efficiency benefit. Ships may consider using onshore power if available.

5.39 Even wind assisted propulsion may be worthy of consideration.

5.40 Efforts could be made to source fuel of improved quality in order to minimize the amount of fuel required to provide a given power output.

14 Compatibility of measures

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Compatibility of measures

5.41 This document indicates a wide variety of possibilities for energy efficiency improvements for the existing fleet. While there are many options available, they are not necessarily cumulative, are often area and trade dependent and likely to require the agreement and support of a number of different stakeholders if they are to be utilized most effectively.

15 Age and operational service life of a ship

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Age and operational service life of a ship

5.42 All measures identified in this document are potentially cost-effective as a result of high oil prices. Measures previously considered unaffordable or commercially unattractive may now be feasible and worthy of fresh consideration. Clearly, this equation is heavily influenced by the remaining service life of a ship and the cost of fuel.

16 Trade and sailing area

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Trade and sailing area

5.43 The feasibility of many of the measures described in this guidance will be dependent on the trade and sailing area of the vessel. Sometimes ships will change their trade areas as a result of a change in chartering requirements but this cannot be taken as a general assumption. For example, wind-enhanced power sources might not be feasible for short sea shipping as these ships generally sail in areas with high traffic densities or in restricted waterways. Another aspect is that the world's oceans and seas each have characteristic conditions and so ships designed for specific routes and trades may not obtain the same benefit by adopting the same measures or combination of measures as other ships. It is also likely that some measures will have a greater or lesser effect in different sailing areas.

5.44 The trade a ship is engaged in may determine the feasibility of the efficiency measures under consideration. For example, ships that perform services at sea (pipe laying, seismic survey, OSVs, dredgers, etc.) may choose different methods of improving energy efficiency when compared to conventional cargo carriers. The length of voyage may also be an important parameter as may trade specific safety considerations. The pathway to the most efficient combination of measures will be unique to each vessel within each shipping company.

2 Optimum ballast

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Optimum ballast

5.13 Ballast should be adjusted taking into consideration the requirements to meet optimum trim and steering conditions and optimum ballast conditions achieved through good cargo planning.

5.14 When determining the optimum ballast conditions, the limits, conditions and ballast management arrangements set out in the ship's Ballast Water Management Plan are to be observed for that ship.

5.15 Ballast conditions have a significant impact on steering conditions and autopilot settings and it needs to be noted that less ballast water does not necessarily mean the highest efficiency.

3 Optimum propeller and propeller inflow considerations

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Optimum propeller and propeller inflow considerations

5.16 Selection of the propeller is normally determined at the design and construction stage of a ship's life but new developments in propeller design have made it possible for retrofitting of later designs to deliver greater fuel economy. Whilst it is certainly for consideration, the propeller is but one part of the propulsion train and a change of propeller in isolation may have no effect on efficiency and may even increase fuel consumption.

5.17 Improvements to the water inflow to the propeller using arrangements such as fins and/or nozzles could increase propulsive efficiency power and hence reduce fuel consumption.

4 Optimum use of rudder and heading control systems (autopilots)

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Optimum use of rudder and heading control systems (autopilots)

5.18 There have been large improvements in automated heading and steering control systems technology. Whilst originally developed to make the bridge team more effective, modern autopilots can achieve much more. An integrated Navigation and Command System can achieve significant fuel savings by simply reducing the distance sailed "off track". The principle is simple; better course control through less frequent and smaller corrections will minimize losses due to rudder resistance. Retrofitting of a more efficient autopilot to existing ships could be considered.

5.19 During approaches to ports and pilot stations the autopilot cannot always be used efficiently as the rudder has to respond quickly to given commands. Furthermore at certain stage of the voyage it may have to be deactivated or very carefully adjusted, i.e. heavy weather and approaches to ports.

5.20 Consideration may be given to the retrofitting of improved rudder blade design (e.g. "twist-flow" rudder).

5 Hull maintenance

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Hull maintenance

5.21 Docking intervals should be integrated with ship operator's ongoing assessment of ship performance. Hull resistance can be optimized by new technology-coating systems, possibly in combination with cleaning intervals. Regular in-water inspection of the condition of the hull is recommended.

5.22 Propeller cleaning and polishing or even appropriate coating may significantly increase fuel efficiency. The need for ships to maintain efficiency through in-water hull cleaning should be recognized and facilitated by port States.

5.23 Consideration may be given to the possibility of timely full removal and replacement of underwater paint systems to avoid the increased hull roughness caused by repeated spot blasting and repairs over multiple dockings.

5.24 Generally, the smoother the hull, the better the fuel efficiency.

6 Propulsion system

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Propulsion system

5.25 Marine diesel engines have a very high thermal efficiency (~50%). This excellent performance is only exceeded by fuel cell technology with an average thermal efficiency of 60 per cent. This is due to the systematic minimization of heat and mechanical loss. In particular, the new breed of electronic controlled engines can provide efficiency gains. However, specific training for relevant staff may need to be considered to maximize the benefits.

7 Propulsion system maintenance

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Propulsion system maintenance

5.26 Maintenance in accordance with manufacturers' instructions in the company's planned maintenance schedule will also maintain efficiency. The use of engine condition monitoring can be a useful tool to maintain high efficiency.

5.27 Additional means to improve engine efficiency might include: Use of fuel additives;

  • Adjustment of cylinder lubrication oil consumption;
  • Valve improvements;
  • Torque analysis; and
  • Automated engine monitoring systems.

8 Waste heat recovery

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Waste heat recovery

5.28 Waste heat recovery is now a commercially available technology for some ships. Waste heat recovery systems use thermal heat losses from the exhaust gas for either electricity generation or additional propulsion with a shaft motor.

5.29 It may not be possible to retrofit such systems into existing ships. However, they may be a beneficial option for new ships. Shipbuilders should be encouraged to incorporate new technology into their designs.

9 Improved fleet management

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Improved fleet management

5.30 Better utilization of fleet capacity can often be achieved by improvements in fleet planning. For example, it may be possible to avoid or reduce long ballast voyages through improved fleet planning. There is opportunity here for charterers to promote efficiency. This can be closely related to the concept of "just in time" arrivals.

5.31 Efficiency, reliability and maintenance-oriented data sharing within a company can be used to promote best practice among ships within a company and should be actively encouraged.

Appendix Sample form of a ship efficiency energy management plan

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Appendix - A sample form of a ship efficiency energy management plan

Name of Vessel:   GT:  
Vessel Type:   Capacity:  


Date of
  Developed by:  
Planned Date of
Next Evaluation:


1 Measures

Energy Efficiency
(including the starting date)
Responsible Personnel
Weather Routeing <Example>
Contracted with [Service
providers] to use their weather routeing system and start using on-trial basis as of 1 July 2012.
The master is responsible for
selecting the optimum route
based on the information
provided by [Service providers].
Speed Optimization While the design speed
(85% MCR) is 19.0 kt, the
maximum speed is set
at 17.0 kt as of 1 July 2012.
The master is responsible for
keeping the ship's speed. The
log-book entry should be checked
every day.

2-  Monitoring
Description of monitoring tools

3 - Goal
Measurable goals

4 - Evaluation
Procedures of evaluation

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