Maersk: Some Details of EU Sulfur Emissions Rules Still Unclear

Tuesday October 13, 2015

Niels Bjorn Mortensen, Head of Regulatory Affairs at AP Møller-Mærsk says that clarification is still needed in terms of how compliance in European emission control areas (ECAs) is enforced, Platts reports.

"It is unclear as to whether a port state can issue a fine for non-compliance committed outside its territorial waters," said Mortensen.

"The only entity which can sanction a ship for non-compliance on the deep sea [outside any economic zone] is the ship's flag state, and not all flag states may have a big interest in penalising their own customers.

The level of fines also vary significantly.

SeaIntel Consulting (SeaIntel), says that some North European countries are still working out the potential repercussions for carriers who are caught evading the ECA rules, noting that Denmark is presently deciding the appropriate fine through a current court case.

"While in countries like Sweden and Finland, the fine will be established when the first case goes to court, Germany will charge €2,000 - €5,000," stated a SeaIntel report.

"In Netherlands a ship will be charged up to €800,000, and in the UK it will be up to £50,000 ($76,700)."

"In Lithuania, the penalty will be up to €1,500, plus the price of taking proper fuel, in Belgium it would be up to €6 million to the shipowner, around €175,000 to the shipmaster, and €75,000 to any officer on board participating.”

"With the level of penalty established, it could be a good business to be non-compliant, said Mortensen.

Last week, Mortensen said current efforts to uphold northern European ECAs have left much to be desired.