The International Maritime Organization has adopted amendments to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter, to further limit air pollution from ships.
IMO has published this information on its Twitter page.
These amendments were adopted during the 79th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which takes place from December 12th to 16th, 2022.
From the MEPC 79 preview:
The MEPC is expected to adopt amendments to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter, under MARPOL Annex VI.
In such an Emission Control Area, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is 0.50% m/m.
The MEPC will decide on the entry into force date. The amendment is expected to enter into force on 1 May 2024, with the new limit taking effect from 1 May 2025.
Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols agreed in December 2021 to bring forward the proposal to IMO.
There are currently four designated Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter worldwide: 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).
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