Knowledge gathering and further studies launched to implement the road map for the possible designation of the Med SOx ECA – Sep 04, 2020

A range of knowledge gathering and further studies, which are outlined in the road map for a proposal for the possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides (Med SOx ECA) pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in December 2019, have just been launched by REMPEC and its partners.

This initiative financed by the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) is led by REMPEC, the Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL) and the Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC) and will address various topics, from updating the initial draft submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to identifying land-based emissions control measures of SOx and PM in the Mediterranean coastal States, and to analysing fuel supply and alternative compliance methods.

The knowledge gathering and further studies are being carried out in accordance with the Terms of Reference that were reviewed by the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts, composed of representatives from all twenty-two (22) Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention.

The relevant outcomes, including various reports and supporting materials, will be submitted to the SOx ECA(s) Technical Committee of Experts for review and comments before submission to the Fourteenth Meeting of the Focal Points of REMPEC, to be tentatively held in Malta from 25 to 27 May 2021, for further consideration and deliberation.

REMPEC is administered by IMO in cooperation with the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its main objectives are to contribute to preventing and reducing pollution from ships, to combat pollution in case of emergency and to assist Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) to meet their obligations under the Convention and its Protocols. The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, and the European Union.