Council Agrees Its Position on EU MRV Revision

ShippingIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Last week, ambassadors of the EU member states agreed on their position on a proposal that updates existing EU rules and partially aligns them with the global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

As explained, the agreement reached among the ambassadors at the October 25 meeting means that the council is ready to start negotiations on the matter with the European Parliament. The parliament has not yet reached a position on the proposal.

“The maritime transport sector has to become more energy efficient and use less fuel to contribute to our climate goals. We want companies and the general public to know how much fuel each ship uses. This means we will be able to compare ships’ emissions and choose more energy efficient ones. This has environmental benefits,” Krista Mikkonen, Minister of Environment and Climate of Finland, commented.

“We are also looking to the future, as we are asking the Commission to review this regulation in light of further experience gained,” Mikkonen added.

As of 2019, shipowners are obliged to monitor and report under two systems: the EU monitoring, reporting, verification regulation (EU MRV) and the global IMO data collection system (IMO DCS). In February this year, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU MRV in an effort to facilitate the harmonious implementation of the two systems while preserving the objectives of the current EU legislation.

The European Council said it agrees that partly aligning the definitions, the monitoring parameters and the monitoring plans and templates of the MRV regulation contributes to reducing the administrative burden for shipping companies and national authorities and facilitates compliance with the reporting obligations under the two systems.

However, the council believes that the monitoring and reporting of cargo carried should remain compulsory although the commission proposed it as a voluntary reporting element. According to the council, this information contributes to a better understanding of the fuel efficiency of ships.

What is more, the council added a clause that asks the commission to review the functioning of the regulation.

In 2015, the EU adopted the MRV regulation, which for the first time set out rules for the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. Shipping companies have to report their annual CO2 emissions and other relevant information arising from their ships’ voyages to and from European Economic Area (EEA) ports, including CO2 emissions from these ships in ports. This concerns ships above 5,000 gross tonnage – smaller ships are excluded from the rules. The monitoring of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency started in 2018, and shipping companies had to submit their first emissions reports in 2019.

At global level, the IMO created its legal framework for DCS for fuel oil consumption of ships in 2016. Under the system, monitoring obligations start in 2019, and first reports need to be submitted in 2020.

As a result, since January 2019 ships performing EEA-related maritime transport activities have to fulfill monitoring and reporting requirements under both the EU MRV Regulation and the global IMO DCS.

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