1053 - 08/15 - Air Emissions, Reminder - Worldwide


The Association has recently seen a number of claims or potential claims for fines imposed on Members as a result of a breach or alleged breach of Marpol Annex VI Regulations.

In this regards we would like to remind our Members that from 1 January 2015, ships trading in designated emission control areas (ECAs) must not use fuel oil on board with a sulphur content exceeding 0.10%. ECAs currently cover the North Sea, Baltic Sea, North American coastline and US Caribbean. Outside the ECAs, with a few exceptions, the worldwide sulphur cap on fuel oil is set at 3.5%, save for passenger ships for which the cap is 1.5%. Following are the exceptions to the general rule.

EU countries

Vessels at berth or anchored in an EU port must use fuel oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.10%. In EU territorial waters and exclusive economic area outside of ECA area, but not at berth or anchored, fuel used must not exceed 3.5% sulphur content, except for passenger vessels in regular lines which come or go to an EU port which have a limit of 1.5%.


Low sulphur fuel (0.10% or less) will be mandatory for all cruise ships berthing in Sydney Harbour after 1 October 2015 and in all New South Wales (NSW) ports after 1 July 2016.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, all ocean-going vessels (above 500 GT) are required to switch to low-sulphur fuel during the periods the ship is at a berth, excluding the first and last hour of the berthing period. With the term 'berthed' it is implied moored at buoys, anchorages, wharfs or terminals or docks within Hong Kong waters. The sulphur content of the fuel must not exceed 0.5%.


New regulations on sulphur content limits of marine fuels are in place:

• Sulphur content in marine fuels shall not exceed 0.10% by mass in all vessels arriving at Turkish ports and all inland waterway vessels sailing on Turkish inland waters.

• Sulphur content in marine fuels shall not exceed 1.5% in all passenger vessels providing regular services in areas covered by Turkey's marine jurisdiction.

These limitations apply to berthed or anchored ships within the boundaries of any port and staying at berth or at anchor for more than two hours. However, they won't apply to vessels passing the Turkish Straits without calling to any Turkish Port, if their transiting process does not exceed two hours.

The latest sulphur inspection guidance published by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) can be found



Source of Information

Loss Prevention


  • 22771 - Bulletin_1053_-_Air_Emissions__Reminder_-_Worldwide 77 KB


    Download PDF
  • 22772 - Sulphur_Inspection_Guidance_1_June_2015_Sulphur_Committee 836 KB


    Download PDF
  • 22846 - Bull_1053_-_Chinese_version 177 KB


    Download PDF
  • 22847 - Bull_1053_-_Simplified_Chinese 121 KB


    Download PDF

Staff Author