Chinese ship emission control areas

Last year Chinese authorities introduced three domestic sulphur emission control areas (ECA) – setting a maximum limit on sulphur in fuel of 0.5 per cent – in ports in the coastal regions of the Yangtze River Delta (from 1 April 2016), the Pearl River Delta (from 1 October 2016), and in the Bohai Sea (from 1 January 2017).

From 1 January 2018, ships will have to shift to low-sulphur fuel before berthing at all ports located within the three ECAs, and from 1 January 2019, the 0.5-per-cent fuel sulphur limit will extend to ships operating within the designated ECAs and they will be required to make the fuel changeover prior to entry. The ECA boundaries have been clearly designated, mostly extending 12 nautical miles from shore.

Towards the end of 2019, the Chinese government is scheduled to determine if the fuel sulphur limit in its domestic ECAs should be reduced to 0.1 per cent. This would bring the Chinese ECA requirements into line with regulation MARPOL Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization.

Source:, 19 December 2016.



In this issue