EU study to assess additional ECAs

A new study is planned that may identify candidates for new emission control areas (ECAs) in waters around the European Union. The new study for the European Commission would be more detailed than an earlier 2010 analysis on the benefits and costs of ECA designation, for example by looking into a "distance-to-shore" ECA for the Mediterranean.

Results from the 2010 analysis of the costs and benefits of a 0.10% sulphur limit showed clear net benefits from introducing the stricter sulphur standards, especially for the existing SOx ECAs (the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, including the English Channel) but also for potential new SOx ECAs in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

"If candidates for new ECAs are identified by this study, the Commission would support member states bordering such areas to make a corresponding proposal at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)," Commission official Christian Wimmer said.

The Commission is due to review its Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and the Air Quality Directive in 2013. Additional ECAs could be considered in connection with this policy review. EU member states are free to go ahead with an ECA application to the IMO without awaiting an initiative from the Commission.

Source: Sustainable Shipping News, 23 May 2011.

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