Climate Action

Reducing emissions from the shipping sector

Policy

The EU is calling for a global approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping – a large and growing source of emissions. As a first step, large ships using EU ports will be from 2018 required to report their verified annual emissions and other relevant information.

Port of Oakland, California, USA© Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Digital Vision

Maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (3rd IMO GHG study).

Shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050 – depending on future economic and energy developments.

This is not compatible with the internationally agreed goal of keeping global temperature increase to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which requires worldwide emissions to be at least halved from 1990 levels by 2050.

Untapped potential

Ships' energy consumption and CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 75% by applying operational measures and implementing existing technologies (2nd IMO GHG study).

Many of these measures are cost-effective and offer net benefits, as reduced fuel bills ensure the pay-back of any operational or investment costs.

Further reductions could be achieved by implementing new innovative technologies.

Towards global action

The EU and its Member States have a strong preference for a global approach led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as this will be most effective.

Considerable efforts to agree such an approach have been made over recent years within both the IMO and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also with a  view to ensure a fair contribution of the sector to the objective of the Paris agreement to limit the average increase of the temperatures to +1,5°C

 In 2016 the IMO in its MEPC 70 meeting reached an agreement on a global data collection system as the next step in their action to tackle CO2 emissions  Draft guidelines for administration, data verification procedures, and draft guidelines are still yet to be developed, that work will continue through a correspondence group set to meet mid- 2017. Also MEPC 70 agreed to develop a Road Map for addressing CO2 emissions from international shipping, with initial CO2 reduction commitments to be agreed to by 2018.

EU support to IMO energy efficiency project

The European Commission contributes €10 million funding to an EC-IMO energy efficiency project.

The 4-year project aims to establish Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres in 5 regions: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific.

Through technical assistance and capacity-building, the centres will promote the uptake of low carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport in the less developed countries in the respective region.

This will also support the implementation of the internationally agreed energy efficiency rules and standards (EEDI and SEEMP).

EU strategy

The Commission's 2011 White Paper on transport suggests that the EU's CO2 emissions from maritime transport should be cut by at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2050, and if feasible by 50%. However, international shipping is not covered by the EU's current emissions reduction targets.

In 2013, the Commission set out a strategy for progressively integrating maritime emissions into the EU's policy for reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

The strategy consists of 3 consecutive steps:

  • Monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports
  • Greenhouse gas reduction targets for the maritime transport sector
  • Further measures, including market-based measures, in the medium to long term.

First step: monitor and report emissions

The MRV shipping Regulation adopted in April 2015 creates an EU-wide legal framework for the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions and other relevant information from maritime transport. It also helps the EU generate momentum for the best possible outcome in the international discussions. Please note that further to the Decision 215/2016 of the EEA Joint Committee from 28th October, the MRV shipping Regulation has been included in the EEA agreement, all references in the MRV shipping Regulation to Member States should be interpreted as including all relevant EEA States (the  EU Member States, Iceland and Norway).

It requires large ships (over 5 000 gross tonnes) irrespective of where the ship or the company is registered calling at EEA ports from 1 January 2018 to monitor their CO2 emissions and other relevant information emitted on journeys to, from and between EEA ports of calls, and also when in EEA ports of call.

In order to complete the MRV shipping legal framework, the Commission adopted two delegated Regulations updating the monitoring methods and rules in Annexes I and II (Delegated Regulation 2016/2071) and further specified its rules on verification and accreditation of MRV shipping verifiers (Delegated Regulation 2016/2072).

Also two Implementing Regulations were adopted entered into force in November 2016.

  • By 30 August 2017 submit to an accredited MRV shipping verifier a Monitoring Plan, consisting of complete and transparent documentation of the monitoring method and procedures to be applied for each of the ships under its responsibilities; MRV companies shall prepare monitoring plans using a template corresponding to the model in Annex I of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1927 , (for more information see also our FAQs document);
  • From 1s January 2018, monitor and report to an accredited MRV shipping verifier, data on each ships' CO2,, fuel consumption and other parameters, such as distance, time at sea and cargo carried, so as to determine the ships' average energy efficiency;
  • From 2019, by 30 April of each year submit to the Commission through THETIS MRV (a dedicated European Union information system currently under development by the European Maritime Safety Agency) a satisfactorily verified Emissions report for each of the ships concerned
  • From 2019, by 30 June of each year ensure that, all ships having performed activities in the precedent reporting period and visiting EU ports, carry on board a document of compliance issued by THETIS MRV, following the agreement of an accredited MRV shipping verifier. This obligation might be subject to inspections by Member States' authorities.

In order to complete the MRV shipping legal framework, the Commission amended Regulation 2015/757 so as to update the monitoring methods and rules in Annexes I and II to Regulation 2015/757, and further specified its rules on verification and accreditation of MRV shipping verifiers. These two delegated Regulations aim at helping companies to fulfil their monitoring and reporting obligations in a harmonised way, and set additional rules for verification and accreditation of MRV shipping verifiers.

Also two Implementing Regulations have been adopted by the Commission and will enter into force in November 2016.

Experts Consultation related to MRV shipping

As part of the preparations for the MRV shipping Delegated and Implementing Regulations, an experts' consultation process took place between July 2015 and May 2016, under the umbrella of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF): within two "ad hoc" subgroups as follows:

The two MRV shipping subgroups have provided recommendations to the Commission on the delegated and implementing acts which were endorsed by the ESSF Plenary on 28 June 2016

As part of the preparations for the MRV shipping implementation these two experts' subgroups will develop further guidance on a number of monitoring, reporting and verification aspects by spring 2017.

Documentation

Strategy on maritime transport emissions

Publications

Studies

Studies

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the implementation of the MRV shipping Regulation

These Frequently Asked Questions aim to assist MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) companies, verifiers and other stakeholders to implement the European Union MRV shipping legislation. It requires ships carrying out maritime transport activities to or from EEA ports to monitor and report information including verified data on their CO2 emissions from 1st of January 2018.

The legal framework for these obligations is established under Regulation (EU) 2015/757 on monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport, (the MRV Shipping Regulation) which has been amended by Delegated Regulation 2016/2072 and it is to be read in conjunction with Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/2071 and Implementing Regulations (EU) 2016/1927 and 2016/1928.

This document was prepared by DG CLIMA and does not commit the European Commission. Only the Court of Justice of the European Union is competent to authoritatively interpret the Union law.

SECTION I ON SHIPS COVERED BY THE MRV SHIPPING REGULATION

Which ships need to monitor and report their verified annual data, are some categories of ships exempted?

The MRV Shipping Regulation applies to ships above 5000 GT, in respect of their CO emissions released during their voyages from/to EEA ports (see below section on geographical scope) carried out after 1st January 2018.

Ships are subject to the MRV Regulation regardless of their flag. A limited number of categories of ships are excluded, including: warships, naval auxiliaries, fish-catching or fish-processing ships, ships not propelled by mechanical means, and government ships used for non-commercial purposes.

SECTION II ON VOYAGES AND PORTS OF CALL

Which activities are covered by the MRV Shipping Regulation?

The MRV Shipping Regulation sets monitoring and reporting obligations for EEA- related voyages (see section on geographical scope below) carried out after 1st January 2018.

Ship's activities

  1. originating or terminating in a port of call and
  2. serving the purpose of transporting passengers and cargo for commercial purposes

are defined as voyages.

Ballast voyages, from the last port of call where the ships has discharged cargo or disembarked passengers to the next port of call where cargo is loaded or passengers embark, also serve the purpose of transporting cargo and are therefore subject to the Regulation.

On the other hand, ships' movements that do not serve the purpose of transporting cargo or passengers for commercial purposes are not subject to the monitoring, reporting and verification requirements, for example;

  1. prospection and extraction of material from the seabed or subsoil,
  2. ice-breaking activities,
  3. carrying, laying, and repairing of cables/pipelines for underwater for telecommunications, electric power transmission, or other purposes;
  4. providing support to offshore installations, such as drilling rigs‎, natural gas and oil platforms, offshore wind farms, and including in particular:
    1. carriage and positioning of anchors for drilling rigs,
    2. providing towage, salvage or other marine assistance/services to offshore installations,
    3. carriage of supplies and equipment to/ from offshore installations and ships;
    4. safety or rescue services provided to offshore installations,
    5. diving support,
    6. storing oil or gas without processing it,
    7. installation and decommissioning of subsea structures and offshore installations.

What is a port of call according to the MRV Shipping Regulation?

Ports of call are relevant as ending points / starting points of voyages. These are ports where a ship stops to load or unload cargo, or to embark or disembark passengers.

Stops in ports which do not fulfil these conditions are not ports of call, for instance if a ship stops in a port for the sole purpose of refuelling, obtaining supplies, relieving the crew, going into dry-dock or making repairs to the ship and/or its equipment.

Also stops in ports due to the ship being in need of assistance, or in distress or for the sole purpose of taking shelter from adverse weather or rendered necessary by search and rescue activities are not considered ports of call.

Are "ship to ship transfers" carried out outside ports subject to the MRV Shipping Regulation ?

"Ship to ship" transfers carried out outside ports are covered by the Regulation as part of a voyage calculated from the last port of call to the next port of call. Variations of cargo arising from "ship to ship transfers" outside ports during a voyage should be taken into account. In those cases a weighted average for cargo carried should be calculated and applied to the entire voyage.

Are CO2 emissions within EEA ports covered? How shall emissions within EEA ports be reported?

CO2 emissions occurred within EEA ports of call are covered and are to be reported annually as an aggregated annual figure and a separate item under the emissions report. Cargo and other related parameters such as "distance travelled" or "cargo carried" are not to be monitored and reported while ships are just moving within ports of call between two voyages.

SECTION III ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE

What does the expression "port of call under the jurisdiction of an EU Member State" mean? Are all Member States' ports covered? Are ports in Norway and Iceland covered?

The expression "ports of call under the jurisdiction of a Member State" refers to ports of call located on "EU territory", (in other words, to which EU law fully applies). Not all ports belonging to an EU Member State are EU territory (see list below). For a voyage to be covered by the MRV Regulation at least one of the ports of call shall be EU territory. Ports of call in Norway and Iceland qualify as EU territory ports of call.

Member States' Territories which are not EU Territories
Greenland and the Faroe Islands
French Polynesia, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna
Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Curaçao, Sint Maarten
Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caico Islands, Akrotiri and Dhekelia

In practical terms, it implies that:

  • voyages between a port of call located on the territories on the list above (Member States' non-EU territory) and a EEA port of call constitute "incoming"/ "outgoing" voyages and are to be monitored and later reported;
  • voyages between two ports of call located on the territories on the list above (Member States' non EU territories) do not  fall under the MRV Shipping Regulation.

Does the MRV Shipping Regulation apply to Norway and Iceland?

The process for incorporating the MRV Shipping Regulation into the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA Agreement) has been launched and will be finalised by mid-2017. It implies that the monitoring, reporting and verification requirements will cover from 1st January 2018 the following:

  1. voyages from a last port of call outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to a port of call situated in Norway or Iceland (EEA EFTA incoming voyages),
  2. voyages from a port of call located in Norway or Iceland to their next port of call outside the EEA (EEA EFTA outgoing voyages),
  3. voyages between two ports of call in Norway and/ or in Iceland (intra EEA EFTA voyages) and,
  4. emissions within Norvegian and Icelandic ports of call.

SECTION IV ON MRV OBLIGATIONS

Who is to assume the MRV obligations for each ship?

MRV obligations are to be fulfilled on a "per ship" basis. The company fulfilling the MRV obligations is called the "MRV company".

The MRV company can be either the shipowner or any other organisation or person, such as the manager or the bareboat charterer, which has assumed the responsibility for the operation of the ship from the shipowner. The MRV companies need to submit a monitoring plan for each of the ships operating under their responsibility to an accredited verifier.

The MRV Shipping Regulation allows the parties involved in the operation of each ship subject to the Regulation to determine, who assumes the MRV monitoring and reporting obligations. From a practical point of view, and if necessary, a relevant clause could be inserted in the charter party (C/P) so as to clarify who is doing what in relation to the MRV Shipping Regulation. In this context, the company mentioned in the SOLAS Safety Management Code could be responsible for MRV requirements.

Changes of MRV company are to be properly reflected in the monitoring plan.

What obligations does the MRV Shipping Regulation impose on MRV companies and by when?

According to the MRV Shipping Regulation, MRV companies shall, for each of their ships carrying out voyages related to "EEA ports" after 1st January 2018, fulfil the following monitoring and reporting obligations:

  • By 31st August 2017, MRV companies shall submit a monitoring plan to a MRV accredited verifier. It consists of transparent and complete documentation of the monitoring method and procedures to be applied to each of their ships.
  • From 1st January 2018 (1st reporting period under the MRV shipping Regulation) MRV companies shall, on the basis of the ship's satisfactorily assessed monitoring plan, monitor the ships CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and other relevant information with a view to aggregate data into an annual emissions report.
  • From 2019, by 30th April of each year, the MRV company responsible for the ship on 31st December of the reporting period submits a satisfactorily verified emissions report to the Commission using a dedicated Union information system (also called THETIS MRV database (still under development). In parallel, MRV verifiers are to indicate that the Emission report has been considered satisfactory so the conditions for issuing a Document of Compliance have been fulfilled.
  • From 2019, by 30th June of each year, ships having carried out activities falling under the MRV Regulation during the precedent calendar year (reporting period X) shall carry on board a valid MRV Document of Compliance, issued in accordance with the THETIS MRV database, when calling at EEA ports.

What if a ship starts carrying out voyages falling under the MRV Shipping Regulation after the deadline of 31st August 2017?

For ships which call into EEA ports for the first time after the deadline for submitting monitoring plans (set on 31st August 2017), MRV companies should submit a monitoring plan to an accredited verifier without delay, and no later than two months after the ship's first call at an EEA port.

What about ships that do not carry out any voyage falling under the MRV shipping during a full calendar year?

A ship which has not carried out any EEA-related voyages during a whole reporting period (calendar year X) will not be required by Member States' authorities to have a Document of Compliance on board showing compliance for that specific reporting period (year X), when calling at EEA ports between 30th June of year X+1 and 29th June of year X+2.

SECTION V ON MONITORING PLANS

Shall MRV companies submit a monitoring plan for each of the ships under their responsibility?

The monitoring plan reflects the technical specifications and the monitoring methods to be applied to the voyages carried out by the ship concerned and which fall under the Regulation. It is prepared by the company having assumed the MRV responsibilities for this specific ship.

To avoid redundant submission of information, MRV companies can identify when sub-mitting information to an accredited verifier; :

  • the information which applies in an identical manner to their entire fleet ('company-specific parts');
  • the information whih reflects the ship's technical characteristics and specific procedures (ship specific parts).

Submission of monitoring plans to the verifier?

There are no specific legal requirements regarding the way MRV companies are to submit monitoring plans to accredited verifiers, so it is up to the parties to agree on these issues bilaterally.

Monitoring plans can be established in any language agreed between the MRV company and the accredited verifier. However there is an obligation to ensure that an English translation of the satisfactorily assessed monitoring plan is available.

What is the minimum content and format of the monitoring plan?

MRV companies shall prepare monitoring plans using a template corresponding to the model in Annex I of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1927. Information concerning all mandatory items, as identified in the monitoring plan model, has to be included, regardless of the way this information is structured. Companies can decide how to  organise the information to reflect their monitoring systems and procedures.

Additionally, a number of voluntary fields that might be relevant for limited number of ship categories, are identified in the monitoring plan model in Annex I to Regulation 2016/1927. These voluntary fields concern for example:

  • the ice class of the ship and procedures, responsibilities, formulae and data sources for determining and recording the distance travelled and the time spent at sea when navigating through ice, if applicable and
  • other procedures relevant to monitoring of fuel consumed and CO2 emitted such as the procedures for determining and recording the fuel consumption for dynamic positioning, or the average density of cargo transported.

Information on procedures and other elements included under the voluntary fields on the monitoring plan is also part of the assessment by the verifier.

SECTION VI ON "PER VOYAGE" MONITORING

Under which conditions can a ship benefit from the exemption from the 'per voyage' monitoring?

A MRV company is exempt from the obligation to monitor a specified ship on a "per-voyage basis", if according to schedule:

  1. all of the ship's voyages during the reporting period are EEA-related voyages and
  2. the ship performs more than 300 voyages during the reporting period.

Both conditions need to be fulfilled at the beginning of the reporting period.

In practical terms, it implies that providing data to the verifier on 'per voyage' monitoring is not compulsory to the extent that other documents and data (such as BDNs) could be used to calculate the ship's aggregated data.

MRV companies have to document their procedures to calculate aggregated data in the monitoring plan according to the table C.1 of the template in Annex I to Implementing Regulation 2016/1927.

SECTION VI ACCREDITATION OF VERIFIERS

Who is providing accreditation for verification activities?

National Accreditation Bodies (NABs) pursuant to Commission Regulation (EC) 765/2008 are the sole competent bodies in EEA Member States granting accreditation to legal entities performing verification activities pursuant to the MRV Shipping Regulation.

To which NAB shall EEA legal entities address their request for accreditation as MRV shipping verifiers?

As a general rule legal entities established in the EEA shall request accreditation from the national accreditation body of the Member State in which they are established, or from the national body to which that Member State has had recourse. Only under exceptional circumstances that are identified under Regulation 765/2008, can an EEA legal entity request accreditation by a different NAB.

What about non-EU legal entities' requests for accreditation as verifier?

Non-EU legal entities have a choice to introduce a request in any of the European national accreditation bodies providing for accreditation for MRV shipping activities.

A list of NABs providing accreditation for MRV shipping verification activities is available at the following web page:

http://www.european-accreditation.org/document/eu-mrv-list-nab

What is the accreditation process about?

As part of the accreditation process, the competent NAB carries out an assessment of whether all the requirements in Delegated Regulation EU 2016/2072 on verification and accreditation pursuant to the MRV shipping Regulation and in EN/ISO 14065 have been met. The assessment process will include a review of the relevant documents, office visit (s) and one or more witness audits of the performance and competence of the verifier's staff. As a result an accreditation certificate will be issued to the legal entity.

There might be differences in the process carried out by each NAB so please refer to the competent NAB as soon as possible so as to prepare for a timely start of the accreditation process. Also planning of the accreditation process has to be agreed upon between the legal entity seeking accreditation and the competent NAB.

Where can MRV companies check which legal entities have received accreditation as MRV shipping verifiers?

National accreditation bodies (NABs) are to set up and manage a public database which includes information on at least:

  • the name, accreditation number and address of each verifier accredited by that NAB;
  • the date on which the accreditation or certification was granted and its expiry date; and
  • information on administrative measures that have been imposed upon the verifier.

Can MRV companies select any accredited verifier to carry out verification for any of their ships?

MRV companies will be able to select any duly accredited verifier irrespective of the ship's flag or the place where the MRV company is based and where the accredited verifier is based.

Can MRV shipping accredited verifiers work for any MRV company?

An accredited verifier can perform verification activities for any ship falling under the MRV Shipping Regulation, irrespective of where the MRV company is based, of where the ship is registered and of where the verifier itself is based. However, verification activities for a MRV company in respect of which the verifier has a conflict of interest or pose an unacceptable risk to their impartiality are not possible.

When shall the verifier be accredited?

A verifier must be accredited by the time it issues its conclusions on monitoring plans or on emissions reports.

To ensure that verifiers are accredited in time, verifiers should submit their request for accreditation sufficiently in time so as to enable the NAB to complete the whole accreditation process in time.