First SECA (Sulphur Emissions Control Area) in force

As from 19th May 2006 the Baltic Sea is indicated as a SECA, the first one of its kind and is expected to be followed by several other areas over the next ten years. The next area will be a great part of the North Sea and is expected to be in force in 2007.

When sailing in a SECA, ships are required to reduce engine emissions to the equivalent of 1.5% sulphur content in marine fuel. This can be achieved by applying scrubber technology, using a low sulphur content fuel or blending of marine fuels. Also studies on emission trading are still in progress as an alternative (

Green Award has long anticipated that emission standards would be put in place. Again, with the introduction of the first SECA’s, the Green Award requirements on emissions, amongst other requirements will be revised. The new revisions are expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

Without going in detail Green Award will motivate the introduction of an ‘emissions footprint’ for each participating vessel. A full emissions footprint will deal with SOx, NOx, CO2 and particulate matter. Such a footprint will give the shore based management an awareness of the impact of their ship operations and will assist them in setting policies that aim for a reduction in emissions. In addition to an environmental point of view, Green Award will pay extra attention to “change over” procedures and fuel oil testing merely from a safety point of view.

Information about SECA:


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