As of 1 May 2025, the Mediterranean Sea will effectively become an Emission Control Area (ECA) for sulphur oxides (SOx) under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14, DNV reminds in a new statutory alert.
During MEPC 79, a resolution was approved designating the Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area for sulphur oxides and particulates under MARPOL Annex VI.o remind, in an Emission Control Area , the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is 0.50% m/m.
As such, from 1 May 2025, when operating in the Mediterranean Sea, the sulphur content of the fuel used on board shall not exceed 0.10%, unless using an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) ensuring an equivalent SOx emission level.
This is believed to significantly reduce ambient levels of air pollution in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Mediterranean coastal states, providing benefits to human health and the environment.
To stay compliant, it is important to ensure that sufficient fuel with the appropriate sulphur content is available and that proper fuel changeover procedures are in place and implemented before entering the Mediterranean Sea.