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Web Alert: China ECAs & emission control requirements from 1 January 2019

16 January 2019

The Ministry of Transport of China (MOT) has issued notice (no. [2018] 168) informing on the latest emission control requirements and expanded geographical scope of Chinese emissions control areas (ECAs) which are in effect from 1 January 2019. Key points of the requirements are stated below:

Geographical scope of China ECAs

  • Coastal ECAs - From 1 January 2019, the scope of China ECAs will be expanded to the entire territorial sea of China. According to the attached plan, the scope of ECA will be the sea area within the straight lines joining the 60 geographic dots which are fixed at the distance of 12nm from China’s baseline of territorial sea, among which 20 dots are set out to fix the ECA around Hainan Island (Hainan ECA).
  • Inland River ECAs - From 1 January 2019, ECA requirements will also apply to the main route of Yangtze River (starting from Shuifu Port of Yun Nan Province to Liuhekou of Jiangsu Province) and the main route of Xijiang River (starting from Nanning Port of Guangxi Province to Zhaoqing Port of Guangdong Province).


Emission Control Requirements

  • SOx - Simplified overview of the fuel oil requirements used by seagoing ships in the ECA is as below:

Commencement Date

Geographical area

Fuel required

Application

1 January 2019

Coastal ECAs (including Hainan ECA) & Inland River ECAs

Sulphur content of no more than 0.5% m/m

Seagoing ships -

from entering to leaving ECAs

1 January 2020

Inland River ECAs

Sulphur content of no more than 0.1% m/m

1 January 2022

Hainan ECA

** From 1 January 2025, based on an assessment by MOT, seagoing ships entering in all Coastal ECAs may be required to use fuel with sulphur content of not exceeding 0.1% m/m.

 

NOx                                         

  • International ships that are built or subject to major conversion of diesel engine on and after 1 January 2000, with power output of more than 130kw of single engine, shall comply with Tier-I emission limit of MARPOL.
  • International ships that are built or subject to major conversion of diesel engine on and after 1 January 2011, with power output of more than 130kw of single engine, shall comply with Tier-II emission limit of MARPOL.
  • Chinese domestic sailing ships that are built or subject to major conversion of diesel engine on and after 1 March 2015, with power output of more than 130kw of single engine, shall comply with Tier-II emission limit of MARPOL.
  • Chinese domestic sailing ships that are built or subject to major conversion of diesel engine on and after 1 January 2022, with engine’s single cylinder displacement of equal to or over 30 litres, shall comply with Tier-III emission limit MARPOL.
  • An assessment on feasibility of implementing Tier-III emission limit of MARPOL will be conducted to decide whether to require Chinese domestic sailing ships that are built or subject to major conversion of diesel engine on and after 1 January 2025, with engine’s single cylinder displacement of equal to or above 30 litres, to meet Tier-III emission limit of MARPOL.

 
Shore Power

  • Chinese domestic sailing container ships, cruise ships, ro-ro passenger ships, passenger ships of over 3,000gt and bulk ships of over 50,000gt that are built on and after 1 January 2020 shall be equipped with shore power facilities.
  • From 1 July 2019, ships (excluding liquid cargo ships) that are equipped with shore power facilities and going alongside at a berth with shore power supply ability alongside the Coastal ECAs for more than 3 hours, or at a berth with shore power supply ability for more than 2 hours, and cannot use other equivalent alternative measures, shall use shore power.
  • From 1 January 2021, cruise ships that are going alongside at a berth with shore power supply ability in China ECAs for more than 3 hours, and cannot use other equivalent alternative measures, should use shore power.


Other requirements

  • Ships can use clean energy, new energy, an exhaust treatment system, shore power and take other alternative measures to meet the emission control requirements.
  • Chinese tankers which are over 150gt and are built on and after 1 January 2020, shall be equipped with oil and gas recovery facilities when entering into China ECAs and these ships are encouraged to recover oil and gas when safety requirements are met. The international sailing ships shall comply with VOC emission requirements of MARPOL.


Members with ships trading in China are recommended to take note of these requirements and ensure compliance. For more details, please refer to the attached bulletins from Intertanko & CCS Class.