In late October, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) accepted proposals to designate the Baltic Sea and the North Sea as NOx Emission Control Areas (NECA). After final confirmation at the next meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee in May 2017, these two sea areas will create a large joint NECA, in which the stricter Tier III NOx emission standard will apply to new ships built in or after 2021.
A recent computer modelling analysis estimated that the reduction in total nitrogen input to the Baltic Sea area will be 22,000 tons per year as a combined effect of the Baltic Sea and North Sea NECA and compared to a non-NECA scenario. However, a lengthy period (25–30 years) of fleet renewal is needed before the regulation will show full effect.
Source: HELCOM press release, 28 October 2016 (www.helcom.fi)