The Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter has just been adopted by IMO. The adoption is described as a major step to reduce air pollution from ships in the region. The IMO body has adopted the Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter, with effect from 1 May 2025, to further limit Air Pollution from ships.
The Marine Environment Protection Committee adopted amendments to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter, under MARPOL Annex VI.
In such an Emission Control Area, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is 0.50% m/m.
Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention), and its Protocols agreed in December 2021 to bring forward the proposal to IMO.
There are currently four designated Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter worldwide: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).