IMO FAQS: Sulphur limits in emission control areas from 1 January 2015

Members will already be aware, from the Club's recent publications, of the new requirements relating to sulphur emissions that are due to enter into force in emission control areas on 1st January 2015, namely that ships trading in such designated areas will have to use fuel on board with a sulphur content of no more than 0.10% from this date.

The IMO has published a set of FAQs on this matter which are available as a pdf below.

The FAQs include, but are not limited to the following questions:

1. What are the new requirements relating to sulphur emissions? 

Ships trading in designated emission control areas will have to use fuel oil on board with a sulphur content of no more than 0.10% from 1 January 2015, against the limit of 1.00% in effect up until 31 December 2014.

The interpretation of “fuel oil used on board” includes use in main and auxiliary engines and boilers. Exemptions are provided for securing the safety of the ship or saving life at sea, or as a result of damage to a ship or its equipment. Also, provisions for trials for ship emission reduction and control technology research provide for a time limited exemption.

2. What treaty do these new rules come under? 

The stricter rules come into effect under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form ships (MARPOL) Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships), specifically under regulation 14, which covers emissions of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter from ships. These requirements were adopted in October 2008 by consensus and entered into force in July 2010

3. Where are the emission control areas referred to?

The emission control areas established under MARPOL Annex VI for SOx are: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).

If Members have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual contact at the Club.


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