Mediterranean Sea will become a low-sulphur fuel area by 2025

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO met for its 79th session in December 2022. The MEPC adopted amendments to designate the entire Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area (ECA) for sulphur oxides and particulate matter, under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10 mass per cent, while outside such ECAs the limit is 0.50 per cent. The expected date of entry of the amendment is 1 May 2024, and the new sulphur limit would be effective from 1 May 2025.

Contracting Parties to the so-called Barcelona Convention agreed in December 2021 to bring forward the proposal to IMO.
According to the meeting summary of MEPC – “This is the fifth designated Emission Control Area for sulphur oxides and particulate matter worldwide, the others being: 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).”

Source:  IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) – 79th session, 12-16 December 2022



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