China introduces Emissions Control Areas (ECAs)
On December 4th 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Transportation published new regulations
designating parts of its coastal waters as emission control areas (ECA). Due to the growing
recognition of how shipping contributes to air pollution along the coast, ships, including oceangoing vessels, which operate in areas near the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Sea will be obliged to use fuel containing less than 0.5% sulphur from January 1st 2019.
Eleven key ports within the designated areas are allowed to apply the same requirement to ships berth as of January 1st 2016. These eleven harbours are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhujiang,
Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua.
None of them have yet announced the implementation of the requirements, but our information suggests that Shanghai may do so sometime in the first half of 2016.
From January 1st 2017, the requirement will become mandatory for all ports within the
designated areas, including the eleven mentioned above.
At the end of 2019, the Chinese government will assess the situation and consider whether it is necessary to reduce the sulphur limit to 0.1%. It is our understanding that this decision will take into account the supply capabilities of the Chinese refinery industry and bunker providers.
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