California low sulphur fuel regulations and Caribbean Emission Control Area (ECA)


Published: 6 December 2013

Members are advised to note the attached notice from the California Air Resources Board, Marine Notice 2013-1. As of 1 January 2014 further changes will come into effect in addition to the existing California fuel regulations for ocean going vessels. Vessels will have to comply both with Californian regulations as well as the North American Emission Control Area requirements.

Key to these upcoming changes is that as of 1 January 2014 the maximum sulphur content for both marine gas oil and marine diesel oil will be 0.1%.

Further details can be found in Marine Notice 2013-1.

The Association would remind members to ensure that they plan ahead before any call to California, or indeed any other area that imposes restrictions on sulphur (or other) content in marine fuels, so that the vessel will be able to comply with the applicable regulations for the entirety of her call within the regulated area.

Failure to adequately plan ahead may lead to delay, detentions as well as fines and other legal consequences.

Separately the Association would like to highlight that as of 1 January 2014 the Caribbean Emission Control Area becomes mandatory and standards will be the same as those of the North American ECA, that means vessels must use low sulphur fuel oil with a maximum 1% sulphur content in 2014. As of January 2015 this will drop to 0.1% maximum sulphur content.

At present the Caribbean Emission Control Area will cover Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The Association is grateful to Messrs. ECM Maritime Services LLC for the attached information and permission to re-publish the same.