Incoming EU emission monitoring regulations have not been universally welcomed by the shipping industry, with for example the Hong Kong Shipowners Association saying in December last year that it “regretted” them and felt they went in the wrong direction.
The European Community Shipowners Association also expressed its concerns. “The stated goal of EU regulators has until now been to make the MRV the first step towards a global solution on CO2 emissions from shipping and I believe it is important to avoid any boomerang effect resulting from unilateral EU action. Co-legislators should therefore take into account ongoing IMO deliberations and anticipate the reaction of non-European IMO Parties. Failing to do so could present other IMO Member States with a de facto situation that might ultimately hamper a swift agreement at IMO level” commented Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary-General.
So how are shipping companies preparing for the legislation? To take one example, Hapag-Lloyd has been working with classification society DNV GL on a verification programme that will the company hopes will make it the first MRV compliant shipowner for its entire own-managed fleet.
MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) are the incoming European Union (EU) regulations designed to progressively integrate maritime emissions into the EU’s policy for reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions that are currently being finalised.Initiated as a joint project between Hapag-Lloyd and DNV GL, the first stage of the verification shows Hapag-Lloyd is well on the way to compliance with MRV. The scope of the verification covers the complete process of emission data monitoring and reporting. This also includes a validation of the monitoring-reporting software, which will be used on board Hapag-Lloyd’s containership fleet.“We are carrying out the examination work in line with the requirements of the DNV GL Environmental Passport-Operation – a programme aimed at providing a complete certified operational emission inventory, which addresses all of the emissions covered in MARPOL”, explains Dr Jörg Lampe, Senior Project Engineer for Risk & Safety and Systems Engineering at DNV GL. “We are very pleased to be working with Hapag-Lloyd to develop a solution that will allow shipping companies to more easily meet the challenges of complying with the upcoming MRV regulations. Being willing to get out in front of the MRV regulations through early certification shows their leadership in this area and could be a valuable commercial advantage”, he adds.“Tracking and improving our emissions is important, not only for us as a firm but for our customers. Therefore we are always trying to take proactive steps to anticipate upcoming regulations and be prepared with a compliance solution”, said Richard von Berlepsch, Senior Director Ship Management, Hapag-Lloyd. “However, Hapag-Lloyd concurs with various shipping associations that reporting of cargo and publication of such sensitive data should not be pursued”, he noted.The MRV-Ready certification can help shipping companies ensure their preparedness for the upcoming verification challenge of the MRV emission regulations. Possible gaps are revealed and steps to remedy them can be taken. Demonstrating readiness for the MRV regulations in advance also demonstrates a responsible attitude towards a sustainable future to customers and stakeholders, a factor that is increasingly playing into commercial decisions.The MRV regulation (No 525/2013) is a proposal that would create a EU-wide legal framework for collecting and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from all large ships (over 5,000 gross tons) that use EU ports, irrespective of where the ships are registered. Shipowners would have to monitor and report the verified amount of CO2 emitted by their large ships on voyages to, from and between EU ports. Owners would also be required to provide certain other information, such as data to determine the ships’ energy efficiency. The regulation is expected to be finalised in 2015 and could enter into force in 2018.