China has amended its 15 year-old Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law to tackle shipping emissions for the first time, local media reports.
The amendments include measures that grant legal authority for the nation’s Ministry of Transport to designate key regions along the coast as Emissions Control Areas (ECAs).
The advent of ECAs would have far reaching implications for vessel operators, given that seven of the top 10 busiest ports are in China, which also handles over 70 percent of the global seaborne iron ore and oil trades.
Under the revised laws, fuel used by ships at berth must comply with government emissions standards, although the specifics of the standards was not discussed.
The amendments also call for all new terminals to be “shore power ready” and existing terminals to be retrofitted with shore power facilities, while a priority should be given to vessels that use shore power when calling at Chinese ports.
Additionally, vessels operating in China must be certified to meet national air emission standards, and the sale or import of nonconforming marine fuel is prohibited and carries fines of up to three times the economic value of the noncompliant products.
Concurrent to the amendments is China’s new National Energy Administration grid and electricity distribution plan, which includes a provision that 50 percent of the nation’s ports must have shore power installed by 2020.
The long-anticipated amendments follow Beijing’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in June noting that China had 172,600 vessels at the end of 2013 and that the shipping sector accounted for 8.4 percent of the nation’s sulfur dioxide emissions as well as 11.3 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions that year.
This article was written by ShipandBunker.com, the world’s leading free to access website focused on marine fuel, with news, exclusive features, and bunker price indications for 150+ ports.