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Pollution by air(Marpol annex VI)-Prevention equipment, surveys and certification

Every vessel shall prevent air pollution by complying with the MARPOL Annex-VI and any regional laws and regulations. “Emission” means any release of substances subject to control by Annex VI from ships into the atmosphere or sea.

The MARPOL Protocol of 1997 adds Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) to the MARPOL Convention. (Deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances are banned by regulation 12. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission limits are set in regulation 13 for marine diesel engines with an output of more than 130kW installed in ships, vessels or offshore installations built after 1 January 2000. The sulphur oxide (SOx) content of fuel oil is restricted in regulation 14.

Annex VI (Air Pollution) : This Annex enters into force on 19 May 2005. It sets limits on sulphur dioxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ships exhausts.

It contains provisions allowing for special “SOx Emission Control Areas” to be established. In these areas, the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board must not exceed 1·5% m/m. Alternatively, ships must fit an exhaust gas cleaning system or use any other technological method to limit SOx emissions.

The Baltic Sea is designated as a SOx Emission Control Area in the Protocol.

The Annex also prohibits the deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, which include halons and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and prohibits the incineration on board ship of certain products such as contaminated packaging materials and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Regulation 5 of Annex VI provides that every ship of 400gt and above and every fixed or floating drilling rig and other platforms will be subject to an initial survey, periodical surveys at intervals not exceeding 5 years, and at least one intermediate survey within 6 months of the mid-point of the validity of the International Air Pollution Certificate. Regulation 5(4) provides that the survey for compliance with regulation 13 must be conducted in accordance with the NOx Technical Code.

Regulation 6 requires the issue, following a survey, of an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate (IAPP Certificate) to any ship of 400gt or above engaged in voyages to ports or offshore terminals under the jurisdiction of other MARPOL Party States, and to platforms and drilling rigs engaged in voyages to waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of other Parties to the MARPOL Protocol of 1997. A specimen IAPP Certificate is included in the Appendix to Annex VI. Under regulation 9 the Certificate will be valid for a maximum of 5 years, with a possible extension of up to 5 months to allow the ship to complete a voyage to the survey port. Under regulation 10 the Certificate will be subject to Port State Control procedures.

Regulation 16 deals with Shipboard incineration. Incinerators installed on or after 1 January 2000 must meet the requirements in Appendix IV to Annex VI (regulation 16(2)). Appendix IV provides that incinerators must have an IMO Type Approval Certificate which can be obtained if the incinerator is designed and built to an approved standard.

The NOx Technical Code - - contains procedures for testing, survey and certification of marine diesel engines to ensure compliance with the emission limits set by the regulations in Annex VI.

- contains provisions which enter into force as mandatory requirements on the same day as Annex VI enters into force, for all Parties to the 1997 MARPOL Protocol.

- contains interim provisions which the MCA has put into place for ships built on or after 1 January 2000, including arrangements for the issue of Statements of Compliance with the NOx Technical Code, and arrangements for the subsequent issue of International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Certificates or UK Air Pollution Prevention (UKAPP) Certificates following the entry into force of Annex VI.

Annex VI, advises of interim provisions applying to incinerators on ships built on or after 1 January 2000, pending the entry into force of Annex VI, and contains details of type-approval certification for incinerators. SOX Emission Control Area (SECA) means an area where the adoption of Special mandatory measures for SOx emissions from ships is required to reduce and control air pollution from SOx.

Ozone-depleting substances on ships would likely include Halon and certain refrigerants like chlorofluorocarbons etc.

EC unveils CO2 emission cut strategy for ships

The European Commission has rolled out proposed monitoring system aimed at helping the shipping industry reach its global emissions target. One of the proposed regulations is for owners of large ships using EU ports, regardless of the country they are registered in, to measure and keep track of their annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions starting in January 2018.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said the strategy seeks to hasten environmental and economic gains for the shipping industry while at the same time reward shipowners for their efforts. "The EU monitoring system will bring environmental and economic gains for the shipping sector by increasing transparency about emissions and creating an incentive for ship-owners to cut them," he said in a statement.

The monitoring system seeks to reduce ships' CO2 emissions during their journeys by up to two percent, thus also cutting down costs of vessel owners. Under the plan, shipowners are likewise required to provide data on their vessels' energy efficiency. EU member-states are set to discuss the proposals with the European Parliament over the coming months before the regulations can become law.

According to the European Commission, ships world-wide account for three percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. If no action is done to address the problem, the rate is projected to increase by more than 50% by 2050 amid a continued rise in transport demand.

Following are the main sources of marine pollution by air and their Prevention procedure:

Funnel Emissions

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)Emissions

Sulfur Oxides (SOx)Emissions


Cargo vapours, Ozone depleting substances, Co2 Emissions

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Marpol annex VI - Pollution by air

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