EU – MRV – Is It The Next Step In Emission Regulation?

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The European Union and its Member States have a strong preference for a global approach to reduce GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions from international shipping led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

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Considerable efforts have been made over recent years, within both the IMO and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to reach such an agreement.  In 2011, IMO made progress by adopting the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which sets compulsory energy efficiency standards for new ships and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), a management tool for ship owners.

The Commission’s 2011 White Paper on transport suggests that the EU’s CO2 emissions from maritime transport should be cut by at least 40% of 2005 levels by 2050, and if feasible by 50%.  However, international shipping is not covered by the EU’s current emissions reduction target.

In June 2013, the European Commission set out a strategy for progressively integrating maritime emissions into the EU’s policy for reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

The strategy consists of three consecutive steps:

  • Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports;
  • Greenhouse gas reduction targets for the maritime transport sector;
  • Further measures, including MBMs, in the medium to long term.

On 29th April 2015, the EU adopted Regulation 2015/757 on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport (the MRV Regulation) which creates an EU-wide legal framework for collecting and later publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions and other relevant information from all large ships (over 5,000 gross tons) calling at EU ports from 1st  January 2018, irrespective of where the ships are registered.

It implies that after 1st January 2018, companies assuming the responsibility for operating large ship would have to monitor and annually report the verified amount of CO2 emitted on voyages to, from and between EU ports and also when in EU ports.  Companies are also required to monitor certain parameters as distance, time at sea and cargo carried enabling to determine the ships’ average energy efficiency. Externally verified annual aggregated data will be included in an emission report to be submitted to the Commission the following year and later made publicly available.

A document of compliance issued by an independent verifier and indicating the ship has satisfactorily complied with its MRV reporting obligations for the precedent year will have to be carried on board of ships when visiting EU ports.

Source: EU – EMSA

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