Applicability: New ships constructed on or after 1 January 2021 that will operate in European waters


During MEPC 71, the IMO adopted Resolution MEPC.286(71), amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, introducing two new NOx Emission Control Areas (ECAs). These two new NOx ECAs – the Baltic Sea and the North Sea – will be enforced for ships constructed (keel laying) on or after 1 January 2021, or existing ships which replace an engine with “non-identical” engines, or install an “additional” engine.

Advice to shipowners and ship managers

Shipowners and ship managers who are placing orders for newbuild ships intending to trade in these areas, whose keels will be laid on or after 1 January 2021, should ensure that compliant engines are supplied – i.e. Tier III engines or Tier II/III engines under Regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI (Tier II/Tier III engines being capable of operating at Tier II status outside of NOx ECAs and Tier III status when the ship is operating within a NOx ECA).

The boundaries of the Baltic Sea and North Sea ECAs are described in Regulation 1.11.2 of MARPOL Annex I and Regulation 1.14.6 of MARPOL Annex V respectively.


The existing NOx ECAs are as follows:
• North American area
• The United States Caribbean Sea area

When operating a ship constructed on or after 1 January 2016 within either of the above ECAs (i.e. North America or United States Caribbean Sea Area), the applicable diesel engines installed on board will need to be certified to Tier III.

For further information

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd’s Register Group office, or contact: