China introduces tough emissions control rules for ships.
Relevant for owners and managers operating ships that access Chinese ports and sulphur control areas.
Eleven key ports within the designated areas are allowed to apply the same requirement to ships at berth as of January 1st 2016. These eleven harbours are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhujiang, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua. None of them have yet announced the implementation of the requirements, but our information suggests that Shanghai may do so sometime in the first half of 2016.
From January 1st 2017, the requirement will become mandatory for all ports within the designated areas, including the eleven mentioned above.
At the end of 2019, the Chinese government will assess the situation and consider whether it is necessary to reduce the sulphur limit to 0.1%. It is our understanding that this decision will take into account the supply capabilities of the Chinese refinery industry and bunker providers.
It should be noted that despite the use of “ECA” with regard to this regulation, it is not linked to MARPOL’s ECA requirements; it is strictly a Chinese regulation. The practical implication of this is that the International Maritime Organization’s ECA regulation provides no formal guidance as to how the Chinese authorities will implement and enforce their own requirements.
The information that we have received so far indicates that alternative abatement methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems and shore power, will be accepted as compliance methods.
The official publication of the regulation in English is expected shortly. The original Chinese version is available on www.moc.gov.cn
Given that key ports can implement the requirement already on January 1st 2016, we recommend clarifying port requirements with the agent or port authorities in due time before arrival. In the longer term, we also recommend revising the bunkering strategy to assess the impact of the new requirements.
Date: 11 Dec 2015
Subject: Ministry of Transport of P.R. China Issued a New Regulation on Setting of Three Emission Control Areas (“ECA”) in Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai-rim Waters
Dear Sir or Madam,
In order to reduce the emission of air pollutants from ships in key areas of P.R. China, and in line with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution, on 02 Dec 2015, the Ministry of Transport issued a regulation to set three ECAs in China, namely, in Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai-rim Waters. In the ECAs, the fuel used by ship should meet with the required limit in terms of sulfur content, or take alternative measures with equivalent effect such as connecting shore power, using clean energy, arranging after-treatment of exhaust, etc.
This regulation applies to all ships which are sailing, anchoring or operating in the ECAs, excluding ships or crafts to be used for military or sporting purpose and fishing boats.
Geographical Boundaries of ECAs
Under this new regulation, three ECAs, namely, Pearl River Delta ECA, Yangtze River Delta ECA and Bohai-rim Waters ECA are established. The geographical boundaries of the ECAs including sea boundaries, inland water areas and key ports are clearly set out.
- Pearl River DeltaECA
- Sea boundaries: the sea area within the lines connecting the points of A, B, C, D, E and F (excluding the waters of Hong Kong and Macau) as sketched above.
Point B: 12 nautical miles away from Zhentouyan
Point C: 12 nautical miles away from Jiapeng Archipelago
Point D: 12 nautical miles away from Weijia Island
Point E: 12 nautical miles away from Dafanshi Island
Point F: The Shoreline junction point of Jiangmen and Yangjiang
- Inland water areas: navigable inland waters under administrative jurisdiction of 9 cities including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Huizhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.
- Key ports: Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.
- Yangtze River Delta ECA:
- Sea boundaries: the sea area within the lines connecting the points of A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J.
Point B: 12 nautical miles away from Wai Ke Jiao Island
Point C: 12 nautical miles away from Sheshan Island
Point D: 12 nautical miles away from HaiJiao
Point E: 12nautical miles away from Southeast Reef
Point F: 12nautical miles away from Two Brothers Reef
Point G: 12 nautical miles away from Yushan Archipelago
Point H: 12 nautical miles away from Taizhou Islands (2)
Point I: 12 nautical miles away from junction point of shoreline of Taizhou and shoreline of Wenzhou
Point J: Junction point of shoreline of Taizhou and shoreline of Wenzhou
- Inland water areas: navigable waters under the administrative jurisdiction of 15 cities including Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Taizhou, Nantong, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Zhoushan and Taizhou.
- Key ports: Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou, Nantong.
- Bohai-rim Waters ECA (Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei):
- Sea boundaries: the sea area within lines connecting the junction point of shorelines of Dandong, Dalian and shorelines of Yantai, Weihai.
- Inland water areas: navigable inland waters under the administrative jurisdiction of 13 cities including Dalian, Yingkou, Panjin, Jinzhou, Huludao, Qinghuangdao, Tangshan, Tianjin, Cangzhou, Binzhou, Dongying, Weifang, Yantai.
- Key ports: Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua.
Timetable for Implementing the Requirements on Fuel Sulfur Content
|Time||Sulfur Content Requirement||Applicable Area|
|from 2016.1.1 to 2016.12.31||current standard as stipulated in international conventions and domestic laws remain unchanged (*see remarkbelow)||All areas. Local ports in ECAs may in view of its own situation exercise its discretion to raise higher requirements than current standard, such as requiring ships to use fuel with sulfur content of ≤0.5% during berthing. (*see remark below)|
*Remark: China is a contracting state to Marpol 73/78 and Annex VI came into effect from 23 Aug 2006 in China. The current Marpol limit in terms of Sox is: (1) outside ECAs: 3.5%m/m since 01 Jan 2012; (2) within ECAs:0.1% as from01 Jan 2015.
*Remark: Having checked with the key ports in the ECAs, we understand that most of the port authorities don’t have the intention to adopt higher requirement than the current standard in 2016, except Shanghai. We understand that it is likely Shanghai MSA will start to require the calling ships to use fuel with sulfur content≤0.5%m/m during berthing excluding 1 hour after berthing and 1 hour before departure in 2016, however an accurate timetable is still under consideration now. We shall keep an eye on development in this respect and update our readers timely.
Before 31 Dec 2019, the government will evaluate the effect of the above requirements in order to determine whether to take the following steps in the future: (i) when entering the ECAs, ship shall be required to use fuel with the sulfur content of no more than 0.1% m/m; (ii) enlarge the geographical scope of ECAs; (iii) other further measures.
According to the regulation, MSA shall enhance inspection of IAPP certificate, oil record book, fuel supply document and check of fuel quality, etc. to ensure implementation of the relevant requirements.
Hope the above is assistance. Should you have any query, please feel free to let us know.