Danish shipowners hit out at ECA avoiders

Too many ships are getting away without complying with EU sulphur directives across northern European emission control areas (ECAs), warns the Danish Shipowners’ Association in a release this week.

“Denmark is among those taking the lead but the rest of the world must follow to ensure that ignoring the Directive does not become an attractive option. Not respecting the low-sulphur limits will be detrimental to both the climate, and to the competitiveness of Danish ships,” the association said.

Since January 1 this year, ships sailing in areas such as the North and Baltic Seas and the English Channel have been required to reduce their sulphur emissions by 90%. Given the difference in bunker prices for lower sulphur fuel is as high as $200 per ton, the association is worried that many companies are not complying with the new ECA.

“There is a lot of money to be made in circumventing the requirements of the directive, and that makes effective international enforcement crucial. Without enforcement, we risk losing the environmental and health related improvements. Similarly, law-abiding shipping companies will suffer from unfair competitive disadvantages, and will lose out to those who cheat, “said the association’s senior adviser Jesper Stubkjaer.

All vessels in all waters should be ready for unannounced sulphur control at any time is the association’s solution to the problem.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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