The European Commission is preparing a Communication on a European strategy to reduce air pollution from seagoing ships, to be published in 2002. In parallel, the Commission is considering making a proposal to modify Directive 1999/32 on the sulphur content of liquid fuels.

The DG Environment therefore hosted an orientation meeting on 18 January 2002 to discuss the content of the strategy, and options for the proposal to amend 1999/32. The DG Environment also distributed a discussion paper before the meeting, with a series of questions structured around these developments. It should be noted that the Discussion paper distributed by the DG Environment requests written comments with a deadline for submission on 15 February.

Click here to download a copy of the Discussion Paper

INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO had a joint delegation at this meeting (Dragos Rauta and Timothy Gunner) and have been actively involved in the discussions.

There is strong support from the European Commission and EU Council for the implementation of MARPOL Annex VI.  Although most of the EU Member States are in the process of ratification, the progress is rather slow (i.e. Annex VI was adopted by IMO in 1997!). Some EU Members States have concerns about particular aspects of the Annex VI regulations, and favour more stringent criteria. However, there was general agreement that the first step is to enforce MARPOL Annex VI as adopted by IMO and only after that to open discussion on specific provisions that require further consideration.

INTERTANKO is also participating in a US industry coalition with the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Annex VI, which is promoting the same strategy. EPA has so far stopped the process of adopting Annex VI in the US and is contemplating possible different provisions on NOx emissions and their monitoring. INTERTANKO is maintaining contact and co-ordinating the efforts in Europe and US aimed at achieving enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI at an international level, thus avoiding regional or national legislation.

INTERTANKO will circulate its written response to the DG Environment Discussion paper. For more details please see the following link

Click here for a full report from the Brussels Meeting on Air Pollution, 18 January 2002

Contact: Dragos Rauta