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October 7th, 2011:

Designation of US Caribbean Emission Control Area under MARPOL ANNEX VI

Oct. 7, 2011


ClassNK issues Technical Information TEC- 0866 regarding Designation of US Caribbean Emission Control Area under MARPOL ANNEX VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) as follows:

Information on Emission Control Areas (hereinafter referred to as ECA) specified in MARPOL ANNEX VI (hereinafter referred to as ANNEX VI) has already been provided in ClassNK Technical Information No.TEC-0654 issued on 13 April 2006, No.TEC-0771 issued on 13 May 2009 and No.TEC-0832 issued on 11 November 2010.

In this connection, the United States Caribbean Sea area has been designated as a new ECA in accordance with the amendments to ANNEX VI adopted at the 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 62) held in July 2011.

The relevant information has been circulated by the IMO as the attached Resolution MEPC.202(62). This ClassNK Technical Information provides information relating to the above matter.

1. Sea area newly designated as ECA

The United States Caribbean Sea area (the sea area located off the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands) is designated as ECA for NOx, SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions. Please refer to IMO Resolution MEPC.202(62) for the detailed definition of the sea area.

2. Application

The amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2013. However, the requirements regarding SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions (Regulation 14 of ANNEX VI) in the United States Caribbean Sea area will commence on 1 January 2014, because an exemption clause for the first 12 months is specified in ANNEX VI. On the other hand, the requirements for NOx emissions in the United States Caribbean Sea area will commence after 1 January 2016*, because NOx Tier III requirements specified in Regulation 13 of ANNEX VI will be applied in the ECA at that time.

For more information, click here.

Carbon tax on airlines upheld

South China Morning Post – Oct. 7, 2011

World airlines vow to continue their fight against emissions charge plan after court adviser finds in favour of European Union’s cap-and-trade system

The world’s aviation industry yesterday suffered a setback in its fight against a European Union plan to make foreign airlines pay hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon tax for flights to and from the EU.

The blow came when an adviser to the European Union Court of Justice told judges that the decision to impose the EU’s carbon cap-and-trade system on airlines beyond the region’s borders would be lawful, advice the court is likely to follow.

“The inclusion of international aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme is compatible with the provisions and principles of international law invoked,” advocate general Juliane Kokott wrote in a legal opinion for the Luxembourg-based court, rejecting arguments filed by the international aviation industry.

Several carriers and airline associations have challenged the 2008 decision by the 27 EU states to force airlines flying in and out of Europe to buy the permits under the bloc’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), fearing that it will cost their industry US$1.2 billion a year.

“Foreign governments are unlikely to accept this interpretation of the validity of the ETS being imposed unilaterally on foreign airlines,” said Andrew Herdman, director general of the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines. “This is certainly not the end of the matter.”

Tony Tyler, the head of the International Air Transport Association, said: “We are disappointed with the opinion but it is only part of a complex set of developments concerning” the carbon-trading system.

Tyler said that “many governments were rightly concerned about the infringements on sovereignty” and warned that 20 states had signed a declaration “vowing to challenge the plan’s extra-territoriality” at the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations agency.

Last month, the China Air Transport Association warned that dozens of airlines would be involved in another lawsuit it aimed to lodge by the end of the year.

China has said it fears its aviation sector will have to pay an additional 800 million yuan (HK$974.6 million) a year on flights originating or landing in Europe, and that the cost could be almost four times higher by 2020.

“If they charge us, we will charge back,” Wei Zhenzhong, the secretary general of the China Air Transport Association, told an industry conference in Hong Kong last week.

Cathay Pacific (SEHK: 0293) said: “This decision represents a green light towards an emerging patchwork of complex, bureaucratic and punitive regional schemes which will ultimately have no impact on improving the environment and will hit passengers.”

The ETS, started in 2005, is the cornerstone of the EU’s plan to fight global warming and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that while the EU doesn’t want to “dictate the world”, aviation could not be excluded from such measures forever.

“I am glad to see that the advocate general’s opinion concludes that the EU directive is fully compatible with international law,” she said. “The EU reaffirms its wish to engage constructively with third countries during the implementation of this legislation.”

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse