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New carbon emission information and declaration obligations for shipping companies

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Following the agreement between the negotiators of the European Parliament and the European Council on the regulation setting out new rules for the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from vessels on December 17 2014,(1) new EU Regulation 2015/757 on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon emissions from maritime transport, and amending EU Directive 2009/16/EC, was adopted on April 29 2015 and entered into force on July 1 2015.

The new regulation will apply to shipping activities carried out from January 1 2018 in relation to vessels above 5,000 gross tonnes that call at the ports of EU member states. It will oblige the shipowners or operators of such vessels – whatever the flag of the vessel and wherever their registered office is based –to monitor and report carbon dioxide emissions for each vessel on a per-voyage and annual basis. The annual reports will be verified by an independent entity, which will issue a document of compliance to be kept on board the vessel. Prior to actual monitoring, shipping companies will also have to submit to the verifier a monitoring plan for each of their ships by August 31 2017. Some of the information included in these reports will also be made available to the public.

EU member states must also establish a system of penalties for failure to comply with the new obligations. Previously, no European obligations in relation to the provision of information or declarations of carbon dioxide emissions applied to the shipping industry, as EU Regulation 525/2013(2)excluded shipping from its scope.

French Regime

France is one of several countries to have enacted legislation in advance of the new EU regime, to show their commitment to the protection of the environment. Towards the end of the year, France will host the international climate conference COP 21;(3) and it has already introduced certain provisions carbon dioxide emissions, which entered into force on October 1 2013 and apply to maritime carriers, among others. The relevant provisions(4) essentially oblige all carriers – whether of goods or passengers – to supply to cargo interests or passengers information relating to the quantity of carbon dioxide emitted by the mode(s) of transport used to provide the service, where the origin or destination of the carriage is within the French territory (including French overseas departments and territories). The fact the carrier is registered abroad does not exonerate it from these obligations. [...]


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