EU Environmental Legislation & SECA

Under new EU Environmental legislation, substantial changes took place from 1st January 2015. These have an impact on the type of fuel which will be permissible for use on the majority of vessels operating in certain European waters, the so called SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area’s).

The original legislation (IMO – UN International Maritime Organisation – MARPOL, Annex VI) has progressively developed since it came into force in 2005. Initially the maximum sulphur content of fuel was reduced from 3.5% to 1.5% in 2006,

this level being further reduced in July 2010 to 1% sulphur content. The Annex was further revised under EU Sulphur Directive 2012/33/EU which require a further reduction from 1% to 0.1% with effect from 1 January 2015.

To comply with the new emission regulations, most short sea operators had to switch from burning Intermediate Fuel Oil 1% Low Sulphur (IFO LS) to the cleaner MGO, which is up to 50% more expensive. These changes have a significant impact on costs and we will have no alternative but to pass onto our customers.