South Korea readies 0.1% ECA

South Korea is taking steps to green its coastline with the introduction of voluntary speed limits and an impending emission control area (ECA).

The first part of the Special Act on Air Quality Improvement in Port and Other Areas is a voluntary vessel speed reduction program, which took effect last month, with ships that reduce their speeds 20 nautical miles from the country’s top five ports receiving reduced port fees.

The next stage of the new law sees the creation of an ECA on September 1 this year whereby ships at anchor in the port areas of Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Dangjin, Yeosu and Gwangyang, Busan and Ulsan must burn fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.10%.

“The changeover to compliant fuel must take place within one hour of arrival and must not change back until within one hour before departure,” the North P&I Club stated in an update to clients.

Korean sulphur-limiting regulations are likely to be expanded on January 1 2022, where all vessels must operate on 0.10% S max fuel whenever operating in designated zones around the aforementioned ports – these zones will form the Korean ECA.

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.


  1. South Korea clean up. Poppycock.
    First they can start with their fishermen. Fishfarms. Absolutely no control. Also the local Marina is just s rubbish dump for Caravaners. Yhey have little or no respect for the seas.

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