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Shipping: Exhaust Emissions

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL950, tabled on 8 July 2014

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will support a delay to the operative date of the implementation of measures to reduce sulphur emissions to allow the shipping industry to retrofit engines with sulphur extracting technology.

Answered on

15 July 2014

There is no exemption in the EU Directive on sulphur content of marine fuels (Directive 2012/33/EU) that would allow the UK or other EU Member States to delay implementation. The timetable for applying the sulphur limits is also an integral part of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (commonly known as MARPOL) and is therefore a binding obligation on states, such as the UK, which are parties to Annex VI.

In any event, introducing a delay at this stage could be extremely damaging for those shipowners and equipment manufacturers who have invested heavily on the basis that the new limit will come into force in January 2015. Moreover, a delay in implementation would mean a delay in obtaining the benefits to the UK, notably in terms of improved air quality, which will result from the new limit.