NABU welcomed MEPC 78’s decision to pursue the proposal for an emission control area for Sulphur oxides in the Mediterranean (MedSECA) and to adopt it during MEPC 79 in December 2022.
s Sönke Diesener, NABU shipping expert, explained, “the MedSECA will be a huge progress for air quality in the Mediterranean region. Millions of people and nature will benefit from air quality improvements.”
A SECA is not a new measure, these rules already apply in the North and Baltic Sea as well as the North American coastal waters. The 0,1% Sulphur limit has been in force since 2012 in all EU ports. Therefore, the discussion in the working group, which were aimed at fuel availability and safety questions, was surprising
Sönke Diesener also added that “all concerns have been dispelled and any attempts to delay have been prevented, and we will hopefully see the entry into force of the MedSECA in 2025.”
In order to make the legislation for the Mediterranean most effective, Mediterranean countries should aim for the introduction of a nitrogen oxide regulation (NECA). In order to designate the Mediterranean a NECA by 2027 a submission to the IMO is needed as soon as possible, said NABU.
Identification and protection of special areas, ECAs and PSSAs
MEPC 78 considered and approved a proposal for a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) to be established in the Mediterranean Sea. The proposal is subject for adoption at MEPC 79 in December of this year, and is expected to take effect from 1 July 2025. The requirement will be the same as for other SECAs, mandating the use of fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0.10% or of an EGCS.
Recently, NABU had issued a press statement to advocate for a Mediterranean Emission Control Area, highlighting that no further discussion is needed towards the issue. More specifically, it explicitly welcomes the proposal through a submission of the CSC (Clean Shipping Coalition) to the IMO.
MEPC 78 was held remotely from 6 to 10 June 2022, and DNV presented the highlights of the meeting, which included the finalization of technical guidelines for the upcoming EEXI, CII and SEEMP regulations; approval of a proposal for a sulphur emission control area (SECA) in the Mediterranean Sea; and further discussions on the revision of the IMO GHG Strategy scheduled for 2023.