ICS urges alignment on CO2 rules

07 Jun 2016
ICS chairman, Esben Poulsson

ICS chairman, Esben Poulsson

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is urging the EU to align CO2 emissions monitoring regulation with the mandatory worldwide reporting regime agreed by the IMO, warning that the current system is ‘completely unfit for purpose’.

The member national shipowners' associations of ICS have agreed to commence a co-ordinated campaign aimed at EU institutions, including member states, parliament and the European Commission.

In addition to working closely with the European Community Shipowners' Associations, ICS says it intends to enlist the support of non-EU governments including the United States, China and other Asian nations. Speaking after the ICS AGM in Tokyo last week, chairman, Esben Poulsson, explained:

“It is vital that the commission commits to the task of modifying its regime to make it compatible with the global system which is about to be adopted by IMO. Quite frankly, the regional verification mechanism being developed by the EU will not be compatible with the way in which the IMO regime will be enforced by maritime flag states.

“It's therefore going to be completely unfit for purpose,” he warned.

Mr Poulsson continued: “Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules in order to have a truly level playing field. Otherwise we have chaos. ICS members greatly welcome the IMO CO2 reporting regime that was unanimously agreed by all IMO member states in April, as a precursor to further measures that will hopefully deliver a serious contribution from shipping towards reducing the world's CO2 emissions.”

“The EU needs to live up to its side of the bargain and align its regime with the IMO system that's now been agreed by the entire international community,” he added.

The EU Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of ships' CO2 emissions was adopted in 2015 and will be fully implemented in three years’ time. However, all ships trading to Europe, including non-EU flag ships, will be legally required to comply with some of its provisions by as early as 2017. Significantly the EU Regulation contains a provision to the effect that the European Commission can propose adjustments to ensure alignment with any similar regime adopted by IMO.

Mr Poulsson stressed: “The key thing that really concerns the shipping industry is that if the EU refuses to realign its regime with IMO, as its own regulation permits it to do, this will be perceived by other governments as a sign of bad faith, which could then potentially inhibit the consideration of any additional CO2 reduction measures by IMO.”

“It’s worth reiterating, yet again, the industry's strongly held view that as a global industry we need a global framework. Only IMO is equipped to provide this,” he concluded.