Container Lines Count the Cost of EU-ETS Compliance

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday May 16, 2024

The first real data are starting to emerge on the cost paid by the container industry for shipping's inclusion in the European Union's emissions trading system.

Container lines AP Moller-Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have revealed EU-ETS compliance costs in their earnings releases for the first quarter.

Maersk paid $44 million for compliance, equivalent to about 2.4% of its total bunker and emissions costs, while Hapag-Lloyd paid EUR 22.3 million ($24.2 million), or 3.4% of the total.

The compliance cost is likely to rise significantly as the year goes on. The ICE December EUA futures contract dropped to a low point of EUR 52.22/mtCO2e on February 23 of this year after weak European gas demand over the winter, but has since risen by 34.5% to close at EUR 70.22/mtCO2e on Tuesday.

Shipping joined the EU-ETS at the start of 2024, meaning all ships larger than 5,000 GT will need to purchase EUAs to cover the emissions for their voyages between EU ports. Ships on voyages between the EU and elsewhere in the world need EUAs for half the emissions generated.

The system is being phased in gradually, meaning ship owners pay 40% of the costs for 2024, 70% for 2025 and 100% from 2026 onwards.

The first deadline for EUAs to be surrendered -- for 2024's voyages -- is September 30, 2025.