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The European Commission rules out any delay to Sulphur Emissions Directive implementation as infringement proceedings begin

19 EU member states have not yet drawn up laws to implement a directive setting limits on sulphur emissions from ships in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and English Channel that takes effect from next year. The European Commission will begin 'pilot investigations', the first stage of infringement proceedings, against member states that have not transposed the directive on the sulphur content of marine fuels. The Commission has confirmed that it will take appropriate and proportionate measures to address the fact that the so called scrubber technologies used to clean sulphur emissions from exhaust fumes cause sludge that is not easy to dispose of in some ports. The Commission has asked member states to provide detailed information on EU port acceptance of scrubbers, in particular the open loop systems which discharge water that has a chemical composition that may not be compatible with water regulations applied in protected areas like ports. Shipping companies will have to either use cleaner fuels, which are more expensive, or install abatement technologies such as scrubbers. In the Channel area French ferry company Brittany Ferries is leading the way with an ambitious refit programme and the planned construction of two new LNG-powered vessels.
Issue 35