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MEPs Back EU Ship Emissions Reporting

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

28 May 2015

The European Parliament (EP) has approved draft proposals requiring ship owners using European Union ports to monitor and report CO2 emissions on an annual basis as a first step towards cutting the industry's greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposed new rules, already informally agreed with the Council of Ministers, were approved by the EP on April 28, 2015, and are due to apply to ships over 5,000 gross tons – regardless of the country in which they are registered – from 2018.

The text establishes an EU-wide system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. This is intended to improve the quality of information available about ship efficiency and emissions, and to encourage the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption.

The MRV requirements will apply to CO2 emissions arising from voyages to, from and between EU ports. All ships over 5,000 gross tons will be covered, with the exception of fishing vessels, warships, naval auxiliaries, wooden ships of a "primitive build," ships not propelled by mechanical means, and government ships used for non-commercial purposes.

Ship efficiency – measured in relation to the amount of cargo carried – will have to be reported for all categories of ships. However, detailed specific rules will be introduced for each ship category.

Where an owner's report on ship emissions meets the requirements, an independent verifier will be required to deliver a document certifying compliance. Ships will have to carry these documents on board and will be subject to inspection by EU member states. The EU will also establish a system of penalties for infringements of the rules. However, the EU claims that the new rules aim to minimize the administrative burden on companies.

International shipping is the only means of transport that currently does not come under any EU greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures. This sector is said to now account for 4 percent of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, although Brussels warns that shipping emission will rise "substantially" in the future.

José Inácio Faria, who drafted the second reading recommendation approved by the EP, said: "What we are looking at today is a first step to reduce emissions. If nothing is done, shipping emissions will go up by about 50 percent by 2030."

Faria also said that the proposed legislation provides an opportunity for the EU to influence negotiations within the International Maritime Organisation with regards to reducing the industry's greenhouse gas emissions. "We need to make sure that cooperation with our international partners is kept to, and make sure these steps give rise to an ambitious international agreement," he added.

TAGS: compliance | marine | legislation | penalties | Europe

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