April 5, 2005
European Parliament to debate tougher marine fuel sulphur limits
The stage is set for another clash between the European Union and IMO--this time on the question of limits on sulphur in marine fuels.
The European Council has been suggesting that demands for tougher limits be met by working at IMO for a revision of the MARPOL convention.
Later this month, however, at a second reading of the Council's proposal, members of the European Parliament's Environment Committee will recommend reinstating the main demands adopted by the previous Parliament in 2003, thereby rejecting the looser timetable and limits proposed by the Council.
The European Commission proposed laying down a 1.5 percent sulphur limit on marine fuels used by all seagoing vessels in the Baltic, the North Sea, and the English Channel 12 months after entry into force of a directive as well as a 1.5 percent sulphur limit on marine fuels used by passenger vessels in regular service to or from any Community port from July 1, 2007.
The Environment Committee is seeking to see the sulphur limit reduced to 0.5 percent by mass by January 2010 for all vessels in the Baltic, the North Sea, and the English Channel, and for passenger ships in all EU waters; and for all vessels in remaining EU waters by January 2014.