China publishes new air emissions requirements effective immediately

  THE China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has issued new air emissions requirements, affecting vessels operating in Chinese waters, reports London's Vessel Performance Optimisation.

  The new requirements, effective immediately, cover the China Domestic Emission Control Area (ECA) and Ship's Energy Consumption Data Reporting.

  The first plan is an upgrade to the 2015 Implementation Plan for Marine Air Pollutant Emission Control Areas, VPO reported.

  The upgraded plan removes the three specific ECAs from the title of the 2015 regulation - the Bohai Rim Area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta. The ECAs are now categorised as Coastal Emission Control Area and Inland Water Emission Control Area.

  The scope of Coastal ECA has been extended to cover all China coastal territorial waters (12 nautical miles from the coastal line), excluding the territorial waters from the coastline of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

  Hainan Island territorial coastal waters are within China ECA and are specifically defined. The Inland Water Emission Control Area includes the navigable waters of Yangtze River and Xi-Jiang River.

  The latest ECA plan requires ships to use fuel with no more than 0.5 per cent sulphur content from January 1. From January 1, 2020, ships entering the Inland Water ECA must use fuel with no more than 0.1 per cent sulphur content.

  From March 1, 2020, ships entering a China ECA without a scrubber must carry the required sulphur content fuel (=0.5 per cent sulphur content for the Coastal ECA and =0.1 per cent sulphur content for the Inland Water ECA).

  Starting January 1, 2022, ships entering the regulated waters of Hainan Island must use fuel with =0.1 per cent sulphur content.

  Ships are permitted to use a marine scrubber as an equivalent method of compliance. China has also said that the possibility of implementing a 0.1 per cent sulphur cap in all China ECAs from 2025 is expected to be considered at a later date.

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