IMO FAQ on the sulphur limits in Emission Control Areas (ECAs)

12 January 2015 / C15001

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published Frequently Asked Questions about sulphur limits in ECAs applicable from January 1, 2015.


As already been informed through Dromon Circular C14029 from January 1, 2015 the sulphur content limit of fuel oil is further reduced and shall not exceed 0.10% m/m within ECA and entering or leaving an ECA.

For further information on the revised Regulation 14 of Annex VI to MARPOL 73/78 please refer to Dromon Circular C14029 here.

Which areas are considered Emission Control Areas (ECAs)?

Under Annex VI of MARPOL 73/78, ECAs are the following:

  • Baltic Sea
  • North Sea
  • North America (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada)
  • United States Caribbean Sea (waters around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

How to comply?

There are two methods that ships may comply with the required sulphur content limit.

Method One – use of low sulphur fuel (MDO or MGO) by the ship and prior entering into an ECA to switch over from any high sulphur fuel in use to the low sulphur fuel.

Method Two – using fuels with higher sulphur content and use an approved exhaust gas cleaning system or scrubbers.

For the first method, Ship Owners / Managers / Operators may consult with Dromon BS for further guidance and to avoid any potential problems that could result from fuel switching.

IMO Frequently Asked Questions

The IMO has issued a publication with the most frequently asked questions as attached to this Circular. Ship Owners / Managers / Operators are encouraged to go through this publication for any questions that may be raised for compliance with the stricter sulphur content limits of fuel oil.

For the electronic version of IMO FAQ please click here.

Act now

Managers and Operators must ensure that as of January 1, 2015, ships comply with the amended requirements on sulphur content of fuel oil when entering ECA.

DBS Surveyors must ensure when submitting copy of Bunker Delivery Note to the Head Office that the fuel oil meets the sulphur content limits as required by Regulation 14 and 18 from January 1, 2015. The Surveyors must refer to SWP07/Form 18 item 2.2.14 of MARPOL/IAPP reporting.


Regulation   Ship Type / GT   Date of entry into force
Reg. 14 & 18 of Annex VI to MARPOL 73/78 New & Existing CARGO & PASSENGER ships 1 January 2015
Share this post:

Related Posts

February 21, 2024

Belize Policy on Tokyo MoU