Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI for ships operating within a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) came into force 1 July 2010.
As of that date, vessels operating within the two existing SECAs, the Baltic Sea Area and North Sea including the English Channel, must produce no more than 1.0% sulphur oxide (SOx) by mass, a reduction from the present limit of 1.5%. MARPOL Annex VI requires that ships within a SECA comply with the SOx emission limit either by consuming low sulphur fuel or by utilising an exhaust gas cleaning system or any other technological method that has been approved by the vessel’s Administration.
The “2009 Guidelines for the Sampling of Fuel Oil for Determination of Compliance with the Revised MARPOL Annex VI” also came into force as from 1 July 2010. A copy of the Guidelines can be found in Annex 7 of MEPC.182(59).