Sulphur emission control area (SECA) in the Mediterranean sea in 2025

From 1 May 2025, ships operating in the entire Mediterranean Sea will be required to burn fuel oil with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10% m/m or use alternative solutions for compliance such as exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) or sulphur-free fuels.

While the Mediterranean Sea has become the fifth area worldwide to be designated an ECA under Regulation 14.3 of MARPOL Annex VI, it is worth noting that a number of regions, states and ports around the world continue to implement their own strict sulphur emission limits.

Ship operators must therefore ensure that crews are familiar with the sulphur emission limits in force, not
only in the MARPOL designated ECAs, but in all jurisdictions to which they trade. Crews should also be provided with clear procedures and guidance to this effect. As new local regulations or changes to existing legislation can be implemented with very little notice, and the regulatory enforcement strategy may differ from one region/port to another, masters should always seek advice from their agents on local requirements before of the ship’s intended port call.