Home > Regulations



Regulations to limit maritime shipping emissions have been introduced by international bodies like the IMO International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as by the European Union (EU), United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and other governments.


The International Maritime Organization has established regulations on the fuel sulphur content of ship fuels and set mandatory NOx emission limits for new-build engines. These regulations are implemented through the IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). In addition to these engine and fuel requirements, certain areas have also been designated as emission control areas where stricter emissions limits are enforced. Besides air quality measures, the IMO is also introducing instruments to monitor and reduce GHG emissions from shipping.



The US EPA has implemented MARPOL Annex VI in its national legislation NOx and sulphur emission control areas The US EPA has also introduced a “Ports Initiative” to look at protecting human health, addressing climate change and supporting economic growth. The state of California has also adopted several state-specific regulations. The Clean Fuel Regulation for Ocean Going Vessels regulates the fuel sulphur content of ship fuels used by vessels within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. The At-Berth Regulation requires vessels to plug into shore power or use alternative controls to meet emission reduction requirements.



The European Union’s Fuel Sulphur Directive implements MARPOL Annex VI in EU legislation. Non-EU countries like Norway and Russia have likewise implemented Annex VI in national legislation. In addition, the EU is promoting the use of LNG as a ship fuel. To this end, an EU proposal on alternative fuel infrastructure aims to guarantee sufficient infrastructure in the form of LNG bunkering stations and terminals, while at the same time provide subsidies via the TEN-T fund to develop and further improve such infrastructure.

Environmental legislation

LNG is a proven technology for complying with the upcoming MARPOL Annex VI regulations. At the moment, LNG is the only available option that is able to meet both the SECA and NECA requirements without the need for using marine gas oil.