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New Zealand to Join MARPOL Annex VI

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Published Dec 4, 2019 12:12 AM by The Maritime Executive

New Zealand is preparing to sign up to MARPOL Annex VI to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbors. 

The announcement was made by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter on Wednesday. “Joining this convention will improve the health and environmental impact of shipping emissions, particularly around our port communities. It will give Maritime NZ the power to inspect foreign ships for compliance with new emission standards and take enforcement action if necessary. Signing up will also ensure New Zealand has a seat at the table as new global greenhouse gas emission maritime regulations are negotiated over the next few years.”

The convention’s regulations limiting sulfur emissions from shipping are due to come into force on January 1, 2020. However, as the previous government did not initiate the process of signing up to this convention, there will be a longer lead in time before these regulations apply to domestic ships.

The treaty examination process means that New Zealand would sign up to Annex VI in late 2021. Stricter limits on sulfur limits would then apply to domestic ships from early 2022. “This gives our shipping and fishing industries sufficient time to prepare for the new regulations,” said Genter.

All ships flagged to Annex VI party states visiting New Zealand will have to comply with the new regulations from that date. Similarly, New Zealand-flagged ships travelling to states that are party to Annex VI will also have to comply.

Almost 100 countries representing 97 percent of global freight capacity are already signatories to the convention.