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Jun 18,2007


Convention : EU DIRECTIVE 2005/33/EC Sulphr content of marine fuel, MARPOL Annex VI Air Pollution


Ship type :ALL TYPES

Port State Control - Information Notice No 4 of 2007 release by the Isle of Man Ship Registry is quoted below.

It advises owners, operators and managers of ships of the early Implementation of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA)
for the North Sea with the EU Directive 2005/33/EC.

Provisions of EU Directive 2005/33/EC implementing SECA for North Sea apply to any ship sailing the SECA whatever is her flag.

Port State Control – Information Notice No.4 of 2007

The purpose of this notice is to advise shipowners, operators and managers of Isle of Man registered ships of the following;

Early Implementation of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) for the North Sea

Reference is made to MARPOL Annex VI – Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution and Chapter 3 the Requirements
for Control of Emissions from Ships. In particular Regulation 14(3) Requirements within Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emission control
areas (SECAs)

For the purpose of the regulation SECAs shall include;

The North Sea area as defined in regulation 5(1)(f) of MARPOL Annex V

The North Sea area was formally adopted as a SECA area on the 22nd November 2006 with full implementation being
applied internationally on the 22nd November 2007.

However, it has come to the attention of the Ship Registry that an EU Directive is in place which will effectively enforce
the North Sea SECA area from the 11th August 2007 and not as internationally recognised from the 22nd November 2007.

The applicable EU Directive is Directive 2005/33/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 6th July 2005 amending
Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels. Paragraph (12) states;

“Enforcement of the obligations with regard to the sulphur content of marine fuels is necessary to achieve the aims of the Directive.
Effective sampling and dissuasive penalties throughout the Community are necessary to ensure the credible implementation of this
Directive. Member States should take enforcement action with respect to vessels flying and to vessels of all flags while in their ports.
It is also appropriate for Member States to co-operate closely to take additional enforcement action with respect to other vessels
in accordance with international law”

Further to the above, Article 4a entitled – “Maximum Sulphur Content of Marine Fuels used in SOx Emission Control Areas”…… states

Paragraph 1 – “Member States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that marine fuels are not used in the areas of their
territorial seas, exclusive economic zones and pollution control zones falling within the SOx Emission Control Areas if the sulphur
content of those fuels exceeds 1.5% by mass. This shall apply to all vessels of all flags, including vessels whose journey began outside
the Community.”

Paragraph 2 – The application dates for paragraph 1 shall be as follows;

(b) for the North Sea:

whichever is the earlier.

Therefore the Ship Registry recommends shipowners, operators and managers introduce where required amendments to their
safety management procedures with respect to, the use of low sulphur content fuel, and the associated changeover procedures,
and records, necessary to meet the requirements within this new North Sea SECA area.
Furthermore Masters, Chief Engineers and other crew members are reminded to be fully familiarised with the required operational

Mark Bregazzi
Senior Surveyor / PSC Co-ordinator
Isle of Man Ship Registry

The date of 11 August 2007 should be treated as the entry into force date for the North Sea SECA.

EU member states are required to apply from that date the requirements for vessels calling at their ports and to vessels transiting the waters of the North Sea SECA.

These requirements are as follows:

  • The sulphur content of fuel oil used on board ships on a SOx emission control area shall not exceed 1.5% m/m;
  • To use an approved exhaust gas cleaning system or other verifiable, enforceable technological method.

For Passenger ships on a regular service in the territorial sea, EEZ or Pollution Control Zone of any European Community Member State there will be a requirement to use low sulphur fuel (not in excess of 1.5%m/m) as if that ship was in a SECA.