Applicability: Vessels navigating, anchoring, berthing or operating in China ECAs, except military vessels, recreational vessels or fishing vessels

China’s Ministry of Transport has published new regulations introducing sulphur (SOx) emission control requirements within three Ship Emission Control Areas (ECAs): Pearl River Delta (PRD), Chang Jiang Delta (CJD) and Bohai Rim (BR). These ECAs are not designated under MARPOL Annex VI.

The geographical boundaries of the three ECAs are shown in the images at the end of this Class News.

‘Core ports’ have been designated within them. These are: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan, and Huanghua.

(Note: Hong Kong waters and Macau waters are excluded from the Pearl River Delta ECA as they have their own requirements – see Class News 09/2015).

How the requirements will apply

The SOx emission controls will be implemented within the three ECAs in phases, starting with the core ports, and then covering all waters.

According to the regulations, the timeline is as follows:

From 1 January, 2016, there will be strict enforcement of the existing international conventions and domestic laws and regulations on sulphur oxides, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. In addition, it has been officially indicated that the core ports within the Chang Jiang Delta ECA will have the option to introduce a 0.5% sulphur limit and/or other control measures, in view of the 2016 G-20 Summit being held on 4–5 September, 2016, in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang. The ports within the other two ECAs will not be included. Further information and guidance on implementing this aspect of the regulations are expected to be published in the middle of 2016.

From 1 January, 2017, vessels which are at berth in the core ports (except during the first hour after berthing, and the last hour before departing) must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

From 1 January, 2018, vessels which are at berth in all ports in the ECAs (except during the first hour after berthing, and the last hour before departing) must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

From 1 January, 2019, vessels entering the ECAs must use fuel containing 0.5% sulphur or less.

Before 31 December, 2019, an assessment will be carried out by the Chinese authorities with a view to taking one or more of the following actions:

  • reducing the maximum sulphur content to 0.1% for vessels entering the ECAs
  • expanding the geographical size of the emission control areas
  • considering further control measures.

Alternative measures such as using shore power, clean energy and exhaust gas cleaning systems will be accepted.

Further details from the China MSA

Further details and guidance on implementing the regulations are expected from the China Ministry of Transport’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), and we will issue further Class News accordingly.

The text of the new regulations (in Chinese only) issued by the Ministry of Transport can be downloaded here.

Pearl River Delta ECA

Chang Jiang Delta ECA

Bohai Rim ECA

For further information

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd's Register Group office.