Bruxelles - European shipowners have launched a survey to monitor the economic impact of the 0.1 percent sulfur requirements for shipping in the European Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs), which are due to enter into force on 1 January 2015. Numerous reports have already been published on the implementation of the new sulfur rules and the ensuing risks of a modal backshift (from sea to land-based transport), but have so far primarily been based on forecasts. “As we get closer to the entry into force of the new rules it becomes vital to move to fact-based analyses and take stock of what is actually happening in the market,” says Patrick Verhoeven, European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) secretary general.
The survey is part of a stepwise approach to ascertain the economic impact of the upcoming sulfur requirements by gathering factual information from ship operators active in the European SECAs (the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Channel). It was agreed upon at the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF), a multi-stakeholder platform set up by the European Commission to assess the developments towards compliance with the new requirements of the content of sulfur in marine fuel, exchange best practices and provide overall coordination. “We strongly encourage ship operators to take part in this survey as it is very important to get an accurate picture of the situation before and after the entry into force of the new sulfur rules,” says Verhoeven.
The survey is addressed to ship operators who are wholly or partly active in the European SECAs and will be repeated on a quarterly basis throughout 2015. Responses to the survey will act as a source of information for the European Commission, which has to closely monitor the impact of the shipping sector’s compliance with the new fuel quality standards. ECSA strongly encourages ship operators active in the SECAs to answer the survey, which will be running until 30 November. Responses will be submitted to ECSA and treated confidentially. The results will solely be presented in an aggregated form.