France-based emissions verification company Verifavia Shipping has been contracted by five shipping companies to assess their firms’ readiness for the European Commission’s (EC) monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) rules.

The five companies are DFDS Seaways, Euronav Ship Management, NEDA Maritime Agency, Seaspan Ship Management and Synergy Maritime.

As part of the audit, Verifavia Shipping will perform a pre-verification gap analysis against the MRV rules to identify any potential issues with the existing data accounting procedures and systems.

"As an experienced verification company, we understand that MRV is new to the shipping industry, which is why we are committed to sharing information and partnering with ship owners, operators and managers."

The verification company will conduct reassessment of each company’s voyages, fuel and cargo data collection, and transmission and transformation procedures besides carrying out an initial analysis of carbon emissions and activity data.

Additionally, Verifavia Shipping will review the shipping company’s operational documentation to determine if it contains sufficient details for the implementation of the allowed fuel consumption monitoring methods.

The pre-verification gap analysis is expected to identify issues and enable correction by the shipping company on time.

The MRV regulation will integrate maritime emissions into the EU’s policy to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the regulation, ship owners and operators will have to monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions annually for vessels equal to or larger than 5,000 GT, with the results published on a regular basis.

Shipping companies have been asked to prepare a monitoring plan by 31 August 2017 at the latest for each of their ships falling under the category.

The data collected will also be used to calculate and report average energy efficiency.

Data collection is set to commence from 1 January 2018, with the verified annual emission reports to be submitted to the European Commission by 30 April 2019.

Verifavia CEO Julien Dufour said: "As an experienced verification company, we understand that MRV is new to the shipping industry, which is why we are committed to sharing information and partnering with ship owners, operators and managers to help them navigate MRV compliance efficiently and effectively.

"At present, we are providing pre-verification gap analysis to support shipping companies in becoming MRV ready."

The accreditation process is not yet open to prospective verifiers of maritime transport.

However, Verifavia has been accredited for the aviation sector since 2010 and will apply to UKAS for extended accreditation in the future.