The maritime industry is considered a fast growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, which is contributing to climate change. As a first step towards reducing emissions from the maritime sector, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal to establish an EU wide system for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions from large ships using EU ports.

On the 17th December 2014 the Environment Council reached a political agreement with respect to this new regulation on MRV rules for emissions from large ships. A formal common position will be adopted at a later stage, after legal linguistic experts have checked the text.

This regulation, once formally adopted, is to enter into force on the 1st July 2015 and from the 1st January 2018, ship owners will be obliged to monitor emissions for each ship on a per voyage basis and on annual basis.  This regulation will cover CO2 emissions from ships over 5000 gross tons. In addition to this, the regulation will apply to all vessels over 5000gt arriving or departing from a port located under the jurisdiction of a Member State irrespective of where the vessel is flagged. However, the regulation does not apply to warships, naval auxiliaries, fish catching or processing ships, wooden ships of a primitive build, ships not propelled by mechanical means and government ships used for non-commercial purposes. By 31 August 2017, companies shall submit to the verifiers a monitoring plan indicating the method chosen to monitor and report emissions and other relevant information for each of their ships above 5000 GT. Emissions shall be monitored in accordance with the said monitoring plan. From 2019, by 30 April of each year, companies shall submit to the Commission and to the authorities of the flag States concerned an emission report. In addition to this, The European Commission will have to publish an annual report on emissions from maritime transport to inform the public and to allow for an assessment of the emissions.

This new regulation will improve data collection and information on emission trends from the maritime sector and any new legislative proposals on the reduction of emission from maritime transport should be guided by this robust data collection.

 

For more information please contact Dr Jotham Scerri-Diacono.