1.These proposed Regulations would implement internationally agreed changes to reduce emissions from ships. They would apply the global limit of 0.5% sulphur or less to marine fuels used or carried by UK flagged ships operating outside of UK waters (where the limit already applies) and would require that new ships and new engines be certified to meet the latest nitrogen oxide emission standards. The instrument also includes an ambulatory reference provision which will allow future emission reductions agreed by the International Maritime Organization to be implemented more rapidly.
2.This instrument will belatedly implement five separate revisions to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, the earliest of which came into force on 1 March 2016. Paragraph 7.15 of the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) explains that until this new instrument comes into effect, marine inspectors will not be able to use the criminal justice system to impose fines on foreign vessels calling at UK ports which breach these standards. In its EM, the Department for Transport acknowledges that these revisions are part of their legislative backlog. In the forthcoming scrutiny statement, we would wish to see a fuller explanation of why the Department has not dedicated more resource to resolving a longstanding problem which it initially aimed to address by 2020 and which has knowingly left the Marine and Coastguard Agency with inadequate powers of enforcement. The explanation should also set out the extent of the remaining backlog and how long it is estimated it will take to clear it completely.