A new action plan has been laid down by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) to tighten the regulatory grip on ship's sulphur emissions in both Denmark and the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) countries.
Launched along with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Danish Ship owners' Association, the action plan is an extension of the previous surveys and inferences drawn from a similar plan done in 2014 and 2015.
The new action plan seeks to further pursue the experiences that were gathered by undertaking surveillance from the air and control in ports.
It will involve developing technology to monitor fuel suppliers and on the promotion of investments in technology making it possible for ships to comply with the sulphur emission requirements.
The plan will require collection of data from various sources hence enabling all SECA country authorities' to optimise their enforcement.
It urges a global cooperation in the European Union (EU) and in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), as well as in the networks established between the SECA countries.
Danish Maritime Authority director general Andreas Nordseth said: "We have gained much experience from the implementation of the first action plan from 2014.
"With the new plan for 2016, we want to extend the cooperation between the Danish authorities and to further strengthen our international cooperation - also in relation to the global sulphur limits of the future."
From January 2015, ships trading in designated emission control areas were required to use low sulphur fuel (0.1%) or as an alternative, clean the exhaust gas by means of scrubber.
According to data extracted from the inspection database THETIS-S by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in July 2015, EU SECA areas indicate a compliance rate of approximately 94%.
As per the results from the EPA's surveillance of Danish waters, sniffer measurements indicate a non-compliance rate of approximately 2%.
Meanwhile, an effective enforcement of the plan is assumed to require an efficient and homogeneous adherence to the regulations.
Strategic efforts are anticipated during another global action plan from 2020 or from 2025 which will be set to enforce the limit of sulphur content of ships' fuel to 0.5%.
Image: Danish environmental authorities tighten grip on ship's sulphur emission in new 2016 action plan. Photo: courtesy of International Maritime Organisation (IMO).