Joining this convention will improve the health and environmental impact of shipping emissions, particularly around our port communities. It will give Maritime NZ the power to inspect foreign ships for compliance with new emission standards and take enforcement action if necessary. Signing up will also ensure New Zealand has a seat at the table as new global greenhouse gas emission maritime regulations are negotiated over the next few years,

...Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced.

Under the Convention, the 0.5% sulphur limit for ships is to take force from 1st January 2020 to minimize ship emissions. It will also be the platform for new IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, which are expected to be ready in 2023.

As the decision is recent, there will be a longer lead in time before these regulations apply to domestic ships.

However, New Zealand-flagged ships travelling to states that are party to Annex VI will have to comply, as well as all ships ‘flagged’ to Annex VI party states visiting New Zealand.

Subject to the parliamentary treaty examination process, and legislation changes necessary to implement the convention, New Zealand is expected to accede to Annex VI in late 2021.

Ships operating only in domestic waters will have until early 2022 to comply, as Annex VI would come into force for New Zealand three months after accession.

The treaty examination process means that New Zealand would sign up to Annex VI in late 2021. Stricter limits on sulphur limits would then apply to domestic ships from early 2022. This gives our shipping and fishing industries sufficient time to prepare for the new regulations,

...added Julie Anne Genter.