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NOx Emission Control Areas Approved for North Sea and Baltic

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to the designation of the Baltic Sea and North Sea as a nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission control areas (ECA).

The decision was made during the 70th session of the IMO’s Maritime Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC).

The two new NOx (nitrogen oxide) Emission Control Areas will take effect in the North Sea and the Baltic for new ships delivered from January 2021. This is in line with an application submitted by the coastal states, which included the Russian Federation.

In the lead up to MEPC 70 the Port Authorities of Antwerp, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Bremen/Bremerhaven urged the IMO to support the submissions of the North Sea and Baltic countries to designate the North Sea and Baltic Sea as Nitrogen Oxides Emission Control Areas (NOx ECAs) from January 1, 2021.

Ships may use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to limit the emissions of ship NOx within restricted areas.

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