All eyes on IMO as Europe moves ahead with CO2 monitoring regime for ships

EU co-legislators reached an informal agreement last week on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions of maritime transport.

The agreement paves the way for a European MRV system that will become operational as of 2018, applying to ships above 5000 GT arriving and departing from EU ports, regardless of their flag and ownership.

The Regulation is meant to be a stepping stone towards a global MRV instrument, which is currently being discussed at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Apart from data on CO2 emissions and distance sailed, the negotiators agreed that the Regulation will also require ships to report cargo-related information.

“Whilst the inclusion of cargo-related information allows the measurement of energy efficiency of vessels, there are concerns regarding data reliability and confidentiality as well as reporting responsibilities and obligations”, said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven in an initial reaction and continued by saying that “This explains why IMO approaches the issue with great care.”

“As ECSA we would have preferred the inclusion of cargo-related data to have simply been postponed until an agreement was reached at IMO. We do however acknowledge that the negotiators took some of our concerns into account and have strengthened provisions on international alignment. We will carefully assess these changes as soon as the full text of the agreement becomes available. We believe it is essential that industry is closely involved in any further steps, for instance on defining the metrics of cargo data” added Mr Verhoeven.

“Most importantly, we call upon the European Commission to actively engage in a confidence-building exercise with non-European Member States at IMO, to ensure that the common objective of establishing an international MRV instrument will be achieved” he concluded.

The trialogue agreement on the EU MRV Regulation still needs formal endorsement from the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. This process will not entail further changes to the specifics of the agreement and is expected to be finalised by January next year.
Source: European Community Shipowners’ Association

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