H.E. Mr Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, on 22 November, to deposit the instruments of accession.

The MARPOL Annex VI treaty, first adopted in 1997, limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances.

It also includes energy-efficiency measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

The main changes to MARPOL Annex VI are a progressive reduction globally in emissions of SOx, NOx and particulate matter and the introduction of emission control areas (ECAs) to reduce emissions of those air pollutants further in designated sea areas.

The global sulphur cap to be reduced from current 3.50% to 0.50%, effective from 1 January 2020, is included in the revised MARPOL Annex VI.

Now the total number of countries ratified represents more than 96% of world merchant shipping tonnage, according to IMO.