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> European Parliament votes the Shipping MRV Regulation!

European Parliament votes the Shipping MRV Regulation!

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Almost two years after the European Commission put forward its legislative proposal, the European Parliament endorsed on 28 April the Shipping MRV Regulation requiring ship owners using EU ports to monitor, report and verify their annual carbon emissions. The new EU rules will enter into force on 1 July 2015 and will start applying from 2018 to ships over 5000 gross tons (GT), regardless of their flag State, as a first step towards cutting their carbon emissions.

The “MRV” requirements will apply to carbon emissions arising from voyages to, from, and between EU ports of all ships over 5000 GT, with the exception of:
  • fishing vessels (catching and/or processing)
  • warships
  • naval auxiliaries
  • wooden ships of a primitive build
  • ships not propelled by mechanical means
  • Government ships used for non-commercial purposes
The regulation effectively establishes an EU-wide MRV system for shipping emissions with a vision to improve information about ship efficiency and emissions from the sector, while encouraging reductions in carbon emissions output and bunker fuel consumption.

"Maritime transport does not come under any greenhouse-gas emissions reduction measures" said José Inácio Faria (ALDE, PT), who drafted the second reading recommendation approved on 28 April. “What we are looking at today is a first step to reduce emissions. If nothing is done, shipping emissions will go up by about 50% by 2030”, he said.

It is expected to produce a virtuous circle of increased transparency, increased competition and greater fuel efficiency. But this is where our cheering stops” said Sotiris Raptis, clean shipping officer at Brussels-based sustainability campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E).

The international shipping industry accounts for 3-4% of worldwide greenhouse gas output, but that share is expected to rise as much as five-fold by 2050, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

If these emissions were reported as a country, maritime transport would be Europe’s eighth largest emitter. According to the latest IMO study on GHG emissions from ships, under a business-as-usual scenario, shipping could represent 10% of global GHG emissions by 2050” according to T&E.

Disappointment for the shipping industry

The shipping industry groups like ICS, Bimco and Intercargo say they are “disappointed not surprised” by the Parliament’s confirmation of the EU decision to “pre-empt the current IMO negotiations on a global data collection system on shipping’s CO2 emissions by adopting a unilateral, regional Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of individual ship emissions – which will also apply to non-EU flag ships trading to Europe – in advance of IMO completing its work”.

The EU Regulation includes controversial elements, such as the publication of commercially sensitive data on individual ships, an idea which had previously been rejected by the majority of IMO governments during a meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in October 2014.

Next steps

July 2015 - The text will enter into force on 1 July after a forthcoming Council of Ministers meeting.

August 2017 - Companies will have to submit to their verifier for approval a monitoring plan indicating the methodologies chosen to monitor and report emissions and other relevant information for each of their ships above 5,000 GT.

January 2018 - Companies will have to monitor fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and other cargo-related information for each ship on a per-voyage and an annual basis in accordance with the approved monitoring plan.

April 2019 - Companies will have to submit to the authority a report including CO2 emissions and other relevant information during the 2018 monitoring period for each ship under their responsibility. The report must be verified by an independent accredited verifier.

June 2019 - Ships arriving at or departing from an EU port will have to carry on-board a valid document certifying the ship's compliance with the monitoring and reporting obligations for the 2018 period. This document would be subject to inspection by MS authorities.

Read more:

> Read the Press Release from the European Parliament
> See the Procedure file
> Read the adopted text
> EU passes ship emissions reporting law (Seatrade Global)
> Industry shows disappointment over new EU MRV rules (Green4Sea)
> Shipping Industry Disappointed by European Parliament Decision on CO2 Emissions (gCaptain)
> Ship emissions reporting ‘must be stepping stone to CO2 target’ (T&E)

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