Danish Shipowners Call for International Enforcement of Sulphur Directive

The new directive requiring ships sailing in areas such as the North and Baltic Seas and the English Channel to reduce their sulphur emissions by 90 per cent needs significant international control and enforcement to ensure that ignoring the directive does not become an attractive option, according to the Danish Shipowners’ Association.

The new directive has been in force since January 1, 2015, and not respecting the low-sulphur limits will be detrimental to both the climate, and to the competitiveness of Danish ships, the association says, adding that international enforcement of the directive is necessary to avoid the creation of economic incentives to cheat.

”There is a lot of money to be made in circumventing the requirements of the Directive, and that makes effective international enforcement crucial. Without enforcement, we risk losing the environmental and health related improvements. Similarly, law-abiding shipping companies will suffer from unfair competitive disadvantages, and will lose out to those who cheat,” said Senior Adviser Jesper Stubkjaer, Danish Shipowners’ Association.

“Ships can be subject to sulphur testing when calling a port in Europe (Port State Control), but when ships leave a port in the North or Baltic Sea bound for a port outside Europe, there is no risk of sulphur inspection. It is these vessels in particular that the Danish Shipowners’ Association fears will deliberately bypass the rules.”