The European Commission on 25 January told France it will not authorise any EU country to seek an extension of the deadline for the 2015 sulphur limit of 0.10 per cent for marine fuels used in the European Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) covering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea including the English Channel.
The statement from the Commission came in response to a proposal from the French shipowners interest group Armateurs de France (AdF) to seek a three-year extension of the deadline for ships already in service in the Channel and North Sea.
In a so-called non-paper, the Commission concludes that raising the general issue of deadlines for implementation “may be wrongly perceived as an attempt to overturn the agreement reached [in IMO in 2008].” It also argues that such a move could create additional hurdles for those in the process of implementing the new provisions, thus jeopardising orders for scrubbers and refinery investments. Furthermore, plans could be postponed for a much-needed LNG infrastructure to make the industry resilient for the longer term.
(AirClim, March 2013)