Regulations to limit maritime shipping emissions have been introduced by international bodies like the IMO International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as by the European Union (EU), United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and other governments.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The IMO has a series of regulations in place to address air and water pollution from ocean-going vessels and also provide requirements to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the future. Two important conventions are the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS): MARPOL for environment and SOLAS for safety.

Emission Control Areas

One of the main drivers for LNG as ship fuel is the introduction of more stringent air emissions limits in Emission Control Areas.

The legislative requirements are laid down in Annex VI to MARPOL. For further reading, please click here.

The IGC and IGF codes

The International Code of the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) is applicable to LNG bunker vessels. The International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) is applicable to vessels that use LNG as a fuel. Both codes are mandatory under SOLAS.

For further reading on the IGC Code, please click here.
For further reading on the IGF Code, please click here.

US Environmental protection Agengy (EPA)

The US EPA has implemented MARPOL Annex VI in its national legislation NOx and sulphur emission control areas. The US EPA and individual states have also introduced state-specific regulations.

For further reading on air topics at the US EPA, please click here.

European Union (EU)

The EU has incorporated the IMO Annex VI fuel sulphur requirements in legislation. Furthermore, the EU is developed alternative fuel directives to stimulate the development of alternative energy infrastructure like LNG refueling points in ports.

For further reading on the European Clean Power for Transport package, please click here.