The UK is currently a member of the European Union, Directive(EU) 2016/802 therefore applies and a maximum of 0.10% sulphur fuel is to be used in port. UK waters to the east and south in the English Channel are in the North Sea Emission Control Area as defined by MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 and therefore the limit of 0.10% sulphur also applies to vessels outside of ports.
Waters to the west of the UK mainland and of Northern Ireland are not in the ECA and the IMO global fuel sulphur limt of 3.50% applies (except to some passenger ships) until January 1, 2020, when the limit will be reduced to 0.50%. Passenger ships on regular voyages between EU ports (e.g. UK-Ireland ferries) are an exception, as subject to a limit of 1.50%S until January 1, 2020 under the EU Sulphur Directive.
27 March 2019
In response to questions from EGCSA, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency has advised that:
- UK legislation on the use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) is in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Regulations.
- Transport Scotland does not have its own policies in-excess of this legislation.
- Local ports and harbours have the right to impose stricter water quality requirements to any transport or industrial sector, including ship operations, in order for their region to meet water quality requirements under the Water Framework Directive.
As such ship operators are advised to check the latest requirements regarding the use of EGCS with the relevant ports and harbours authorities.