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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
Large ships over 5 000 gross tonnes loading /unloading cargo/ passengers from 1 January 2018 at EU maritime ports are to monitor and later report their related CO2 emissions and other relevant information.
Monitoring, reporting and verification of information shall be done in conformity with Regulation 2015/757 (as amended by Delegated Regulation 2016 /2071). Three other legal acts are also relevant: Delegated Regulation 2016/20172 regarding verification and accreditation activities Implementing Regulations 2016/1927 on templates and Implementing Regulation 2016/1928 further defining cargo carried for some ship categories.
Main obligations can be summarized are as follows:
Further documents elaborated with MRV shipping experts
As part of the preparations for the implementation of the MRV shipping regulation an experts' consultation process took place between July 2015 and May 2017, under the umbrella of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF): within two "ad hoc" subgroups as follows:
The two MRV shipping subgroups have first identified elements to be incorporated into the Delegated and Implementing acts adopted in 2016 and later identified guidance best practices on a number of monitoring aspects and also on verification and accreditation aspects to be endorsed by the ESSF plenary.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
"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.
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.
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 territories (see list below). For a voyage to be covered by the MRV Regulation at least one of the ports of call shall be located in a EU territory. Ports of call in the nine EU outermost regions (Açores, Madeira, Canarias, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint Martin and Reunion), and also ports of call in Norway (except those on Svarbald) and Iceland qualify as EU ports of call.
|EEA Member States' Overseas Countries and Territories which do not qualify as EU ports of call|
|Greenland and the Faroe Islands|
|French Polynesia, 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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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; :
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.
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:
Information on procedures and other elements included under the voluntary fields on the monitoring plan is also part of the assessment by the verifier.
A MRV company is exempt from the obligation to monitor a specified ship on a "per-voyage basis", if according to schedule:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
National accreditation bodies (NABs) are to set up and manage a public database which includes information on at least:
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.
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.
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.