China announces new emissions limits for ships

5 July 2018


A change is in the air for ship operators on China’s domestic trades.  Earlier this month on 2 July, China’s Ministry of Transport announced that from 1 September 2018, all ships involved in domestic trades must comply with the IMO’s MARPOL NOx Tier II emission limits.

        China announces new emissions limits for ships

The Ministry of Transport said that this new measure will be in force for an initial period of five years.  During this time, inspection and maritime agencies will carry out checks on both Chinese and international ships to ensure compliance.

This announcement can be seen as part of a much wider “clean up” drive by the Chinese government which has, in recent years, taken strong action to combat air pollution by shutting down old, offending factories, and investing heavily in green energy production, mass transport systems and electric vehicle development. 

Though China’s dedication to cutting down polluting and waste-producing industries has been impressive, some decisions have not been without controversy.  In addition to the widely reported ban on the import of plastic for recycling, earlier this year China also announced plans to end the recycling of international ships at its yards from 1 January 2019. 

China is considered by many to have some of the best ship-recycling yards in the world, leading the way in environmental responsibility, and meeting high standards for the reuse of materials.  As with the decision regarding plastic recycling, such a change would inevitably mean that some recycling activities are relocated to countries with lower environmental and safety standards.   The International Association of Ship Recyclers (ISCA) has called for Chinese authorities to rethink their decision. 


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