China publishes new air emissions requirements

China publishes new air emissions requirements

The China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has issued new air emissions requirements, affecting certain-sized vessels entering and operating in Chinese waters.

The new requirements, which entered into force on January 1, 2019 cover the China Domestic Emission Control Area (ECA) and Ship’s Energy Consumption Data Reporting.

The first plan is an upgrade to the 2015 Implementation Plan for Marine Air Pollutant Emission Control Areas.

The upgraded plan removes the three specific ECAs from the title of the 2015 regulation – the Bohai Rim Area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta. The ECAs are now categorised as Coastal Emission Control Area and Inland Water Emission Control Area.

The scope of Coastal ECA has been extended to cover all China coastal territorial waters (12 nautical miles from the coastal line), excluding the territorial waters from the coastline of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Hainan Island territorial coastal waters are within China ECA and are specifically defined. The Inland Water Emission Control Area includes the navigable waters of Yangtze River and Xi-Jiang River.

The latest ECA plan requires ships to use fuel with no more than 0.5 per cent sulphur content from January 1, 2019. From January 1, 2020, ships entering the Inland Water ECA must use fuel with no more than 0.1 per cent sulphur content. From March 1, 2020, ships entering a China ECA without a scrubber must carry the required sulphur content fuel (≤0.5 per cent sulphur content for the Coastal ECA and ≤0.1 per cent sulphur content for the Inland Water ECA). Starting January 1, 2022, ships entering the regulated waters of Hainan Island must use fuel with ≤0.1 per cent sulphur content.

Ships are permitted to use a marine scrubber as an equivalent method of compliance.

China has also said that the possibility of implementing a 0.1 per cent sulphur cap in all China ECAs from 2025 is expected to be considered at a later date.

Left – China Domestic ECA 2015, Right – China ECA 2018. Image source: ABS

The second plan is the Regulation on Data Collection of Energy Consumption for Ships. ABS reports that this is a new regulation for ships of 400 GT and above or powered by propulsion machinery of 750 kW propulsion power and above calling for China ports to report fuel consumption and transport work details to China MSA.

These regulations apply to the majority of merchant ships (regardless of flag operating domestically and/or internationally) navigating, operating and berthing in China waters.

The vessel’s owner, master, or operator must report the energy consumption data to China MSA for voyages calling at a China port. Only the last voyage before arriving at a China port should be reported.

The outbound voyage departing from a China port does not need to be reported. The data should be reported each time a vessel departs from a China port.

The data to be reported are contained in the standard forms provided by the China MSA. The forms include three parts:

  • Ship specific information
  • Transport work details, including cargo amount, distance travelled, time underway and in operation
  • Energy consumption, including fuel type, quantity and data collecting measures, shore power consumption, whether a scrubber etc has been used

Once the fuel oil consumption data is collected, it must then be reported via the Maritime Information Platform maintained by China MSA.

For more information, click here.