Environmental Quality Branch

Bay 2/1

Spring Place

105 Commercial Road


SO15 1EG

                                                   United Kingdom

+44 (0)23 8032 9100

+44 (0)23 8032 9204


02 July 2008

Dear Colleague,

Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008

I am writing to seek your comments on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) proposals for implementing Annex VI of MARPOL 73/78 through the proposed Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008.

Some of you may recall that an earlier draft of these regulations, along with an earlier draft of the Merchant Shipping Notice and a draft Impact Assessment  (IA), were previously consulted upon in 2004 to help develop the policy, alongside a requisite Order amending the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.  A number of comments were received and were taken into consideration and incorporated where appropriate. Since then the Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act 2006 has been passed to enable Annex VI to be implemented into UK law.

It should be noted that the IA sent out as part of the previous consultation was submitted to and signed by the Minister, as an IA was required for the Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Bill as it was being considered by Parliament.  We would still welcome any comments on the IA at this stage however, particularly any information concerning costs of the administrative burden of the Regulations, as this will still be of use to us.

The Documents being consulted upon can be found in and downloaded from the ‘Consultations’ Section of the MCA website;


Summary of Provisions in draft regulations (Found at Annex A) (word format 405kb)

The United Kingdom has acceded to the 1997 Protocol which provides for the establishment of international Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships by adding a new Annex VI to MARPOL 73/78.  Annex VI comprises 19 regulations and includes a Technical Code on the Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides from Marine Diesel Engines (NOx Technical Code).  The Regulations deal with:

•nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from marine diesel engines;

•sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from marine diesel engines as a consequence of quality of fuel used (sulphur content);

•volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from tankers in ports or terminals;

•shipboard incineration of ship generated waste;

•reception facilities in ports to receive ozone depleting substances from ships;

•ozone depleting substances;

•fuel oil quality delivered to and used on board ships; and

•compliance requirements where applicable for offshore platforms and drilling rigs.

The proposed Regulations will implement an internationally agreed survey and certification regime for UK ships. This will allow verification of compliance with the measures in the regulations. For non-UK vessels the regulations will provide powers for inspection of foreign flagged ships in UK ports and penalties for non-compliance including detention of the vessel.

The MCA is aware that for some larger recreational vessels and for some specific engine types these Regulations have the potential to conflict with the NOx standards set out in the “Directive 2003/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 June 2003 amending Directive 94/25/EC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to recreational craft” (the Recreational Craft Directive). Where this conflict exists then the more stringent regulations should be applied to the engine and the recreational vessel in question.  

Additional Documents

Included in the consultation are guidance documents and supporting information relating to the proposed legislation – these form part of the substantive consultation and we would welcome comments upon them. In brief these documents are:

Draft Merchant Shipping Notice (Annex B) (word format 447kb)

This document includes additional information of a technical nature related to the Statutory Instrument. It would be useful to have the views of consultees on whether the content of the draft Merchant Shipping Notice is appropriate. If you consider that amended, additional or different content would be helpful, please provide specific suggestions and details.

Impact Assessment (Annex C) (word format 231kb)

This provides an assessment of the costs and benefits of the policy proposals and considers the justification for regulation. Please could you carefully consider the content and costings in this document Impact Assessment and inform us of any costs or benefits which we may have overlooked.

Draft Marine Guidance Note (Annex D) (word format 288kb)

A draft guidance document has been produced providing additional information on the measures proposed and guidance on the UK interpretations.

Do you have any general comments on the scope and content of the note or any specific areas you feel would benefit from more detail?

Changes to the SI following the 2004 Consultation (Annex E) (word format 30kb)

A document highlighting the major changes to the SI since the MCA consulted in 2004 is provided for information.

Consultation List (Annex F) (word format 32kb)

A list of the consultees to whom the package has been sent.

Specific Questions on the Policy Proposals

In responding to the consultation it may also be useful to consider in particular the following questions which have been raised during the development of the draft regulations and consultation package:

•Do you agree with the analysis of economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the Regulations as stated in the Impact Assessment?

•Do you agree with the recommendation of the Impact Assessment that Option 2 is the most appropriate way forward (see Sections 4 /12)?

•Do you agree with the revised enforcement powers in the new regulations?

•Do you have any comments on the proposed penalties?

•In order to implement Regulation 12(3) of MARPOL Annex VI, the new SI puts an obligation on the Master of the ship to land any waste ozone depleting substances (ODS), and equipment containing ODS, to appropriate reception facilities and for ports and harbours to provide for such facilities. It is expected that such substances will be handled by ports and harbours in the same way that other hazardous waste facilities are provided - through the provision of the contact details of an appropriate waste contractor in the Port’s Waste Plan, and their subsequent call out by the ship when they have ODS to dispose of.  Are you content with the proposed policy?

•Are you content with the proposed policy for engines that fall under both the MARPOL Annex VI Regulations and the Recreational Craft Directive?

•Has the MCA consulted with the correct stakeholders?  Can you suggest any interested parties that the MCA has not consulted with?

This consultation process will only run for 6 weeks. Please could you therefore submit any comments by 15 August 2008  

It should be noted that the UK Government’s Code of Practice on Consultation recommends that “Government bodies consult widely….., allowing a minimum of 12 weeks for written consultation at least once during the development of the policy”. However, due to the need to satisfy international requirements for the Regulations to be implemented as soon as is possible, and the fact that these proposals have already been consulted upon between October to December 2004, then a shorter consultation period has been chosen for this second consultation period.

In order for the MCA to charge the relevant fees for survey and certification for the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008 an amendment will be required to the Merchant Shipping (Fees) Regulation (the Fees SI) 2006 – this amendment will be consulted upon later this year.

Consultation comments should be submitted to the following address:

By Email:


By Post:

Annex VI Consultation Comments

c/o Brian Elliott

Senior Policy Advisor

Environmental Quality Branch

Bay 2/1, Spring Place

105 Commercial Road


SO15 1EG

If you require hard copies of the documents that are being consulted on please contact the above address or telephone 02380 329191.  

What Will Happen Next

After the consultation period has ended time will be required for the analysis and presentation of the results.  The consultation comments and MCA responses will then be published on the MCA website, in the ‘Closed Consultations’ section.

Freedom of Information Act

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).

If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Department.

The Department will process your personal data in accordance with the DPA and in the majority of circumstances; this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Consultation Criteria

This consultation has been conducted in accordance with the six consultation criteria from the Government Code of Practice:

•Consult widely throughout the process, allowing a minimum of 12 weeks for written consultation at least once during the development of the policy (n/b This consultation process will only run for 6 weeks due to the need to satisfy international requirements for Regulations to implemented as soon as is possible and in light of the previous consultations held in 2004 and 2006)

•Be clear about what your proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are being asked and the timescale for responses.

•Ensure that your consultation is clear, concise and widely accessible.

•Give feedback regarding the responses received and how the consultation process influenced the policy.

•Monitor your department’s effectiveness at consultation, including through the use of a designated consultation co-ordinator.

•Ensure your consultation follows better regulation best practice, including carrying out a Regulatory Impact Assessment if appropriate.

If you have any comments regarding the conduct of this consultation or feel that it does not comply with the Government Code of Practice please contact the Consultation Co-ordinator at consultation.coordinator@mcga.gov.uk. We are continually trying to improve the way in which we conduct consultations and appreciate your views, so we would also be grateful if you could complete and return the attached feedback form (link to the word document version of this letter which includes this form - 98kb). These should be submitted to the Consultation Co-ordinator and are not affected by the deadline for this consultation.

Yours sincerely

Brian Elliott

Senior Policy Advisor

MCA Environmental Quality