As has been widely reported, 1 January marked the commencement date of new emissions regulations for vessels operating in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs). Following regulation 14 of the IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI, vessels will be obligated to burn bunkers with a maximum 0.1% sulphur content by mass within ECAs, which currently cover the North Sea, Baltic Sea, North American coastline and US Caribbean. Operators who fail to conform with this limit (and cannot demonstrate a defence or mitigating factor under the regulations) will face financial penalties and possible vessel detention by ECA states.
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