Iceland ratification of Annex VI boost to global enforcement ability
Iceland’s ratification of MARPOL Annex VI has increased the total number of contracting States to 89, meaning another coastal and flag State now has the ability to enforce the global ship emission regulatory framework. It takes the number of countries with a sea coast that have an obligation to enforce the regulation from 63 to 64.
Concerns were expressed at the 71st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee earlier this year that implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit may not be robust because only 63 out of 153 countries with a sea coast were parties to the International Maritime Organization regulation – leaving a large number of countries without neither ability nor obligation to enforce. Meanwhile, over 96% of the world’s gross tonnage was flagged in MARPOL Annex VI Parties.
H.E. Mr Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters on 22 November to deposit the instruments of accession.
Iceland’s accession has not made much difference to the percentage of tonnage flagged in contracting States. According to IMO the 89 contracting parties represent “more than 96%” of world merchant shipping tonnage.
The MARPOL Annex VI treaty limits air pollutants including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. It also includes energy-efficiency measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
Report by Unni Einemo