China – Emission Control Area Update

23 February 2016

Members will already be aware of the new Regulations concerning the limits on the sulphur content of fuel to be used by vessels at certain times during berthing and whilst in particular Emission Control Areas (ECA) as outlined in the Club’s News Alert of December 2015 (click here).

The Correspondent, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Limited, has recently issued further guidance setting out more details including the following:

  1. The Shanghai MSA issued a formal notice on 18 February 2016 notifying the “Implementation of ECA at Shanghai Port”. This requires all vessels calling at the Port of Shanghai from 1 April 2016 to use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5% or less when staying at berth (from one hour after berthing until one hour prior to departure from berth);
  2. The Shanghai MSA has announced that the key ports in the Yangtze Delta ECA will also implement the 0.5% requirement from 1 April 2016 (click here to access the Correspondent’s previous Circular of January 2016). Whilst formal notification has yet to be issued, it is expected that the requirements listed above for Shanghai will shortly be implemented for the Ports of Ningbo, Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong;
  3. It is not expected that ports in the Pearl River Delta or Bohai-rim Waters will adopt the new sulphur restriction at the present time (see the Correspondent’s Circular of January 2016, mentioned in sub-paragraph 2. above).

In addition, the China MSA issued a Notice on Enhancing Supervision and Administration of ECAs in January 2016 which sets out:

  1. Various documentary and record/sample keeping requirements for ships in respect of low sulphur fuel when calling at ports within the ECAs, with vessels being detained and penalties imposed for failure to comply;
  2. Requirements for alternative measures to avoid use of high sulphur fuel; and
  3. Requirements for vessels in breach of the regulations in special situations such as damage to the vessel or for the safety of the vessel or life.

Full details of the above requirements can be found in the Correspondent’s Circular of 22 February 2016, which can be accessed by clicking here.