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News: Introduction of voluntary speed limits and ECA in South Korea

27 January 2020

Members with ships trading in South Korea are advised on the new environmental laws that introduces a series of measures, including a voluntary speed reduction programme and an impending emission control area (ECA) as steps to reduce air pollution from shipping.
Under the special act on air quality improvement in port and other areas, which took effect in December 2019, ships that voluntarily reduce their speeds (12 knots for container ships and car-carriers, 10 knots for other ship types) 20 nautical miles from the country’s top five ports (Busan, Ulsan, Yeosu, Gwangyang and Incheon) will have their port entry/leave fees discounted.
More details on this can be accessed on the South Korean Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries (MOF) website.
From 1 September 2020, ships at berth or at anchor in the port areas of Incheon, Pyeongtaek and Dangjin, Yeosu and Gwangyang, Busan and Ulsan will be required to burn fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.10%. The changeover to compliant fuel shall take place within one hour of arrival and after one hour of departure.
These regulations are likely to be expanded on 1 January 2022, when all ships will be required to use 0.10% sulphur fuel when navigating or operating in the designated zones (ECAs) encompassing the abovementioned ports.

For further details on the designation of SOx emission control area (ECAs), members are recommended to refer to the KR Class notice which is attached on the right.