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China designates emission control areas near major ports

22 December 2015

China’s Ministry of Transport designated the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim waters as emission control areas (ECA). The limit for sulfur content of fuel oils used onboard ships operating within the designated ECAs will be lowered to 0.5% (m/m).

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The 0.5% sulfur limit is to be phased-in over the period from 2016 to 2019. The ECA regulation is applicable ships voyaging, berthing and operating within the three emission control areas, excluding military, sport and fishery ships.

The ECA regulation is designed to reduce SO2 emissions from ships by 65% by 2020 from the 2015 level. The regulation is to be reviewed by the end of 2019. During the review process, it will be decided if the sulfur limit should be lowered to 0.1%, if the ECAs should be expanded, or other action should be taken.

The Chinese ECA regulation appears to be independent from the international ECA designations and the related fuel and emission requirements adopted by the IMO.

Source: China Ministry of Transport