United Nations
#OceanAction16090
Installation of a German air monitoring network to support MARPOL Annex-VI compliance monitoring
by Germany (Government)
According to the MARPOL Annex VI regulations by the International maritime Organisation (IMO) and to the EU Sulphur directive (1999/33/EC and 2012/33/EC) sea going vessels are forced to burn only fuel with a reduced sulphur content or to use exhaust gas treatment systems (Scrubber) achieving the same amount of emission reduction.

Since January 01, 2015 inside designated Emission Control Areas (ECA) like the whole North Sea and Baltic Sea the allowed fuel sulphur content (FSC) is 0.1% m/m. To match this regulation, inside the ECA vessels must use a much more expensive low sulphur fuel or must be operated with a Scrubber. Inside the ECAs vessels are check for MARPOL compliance by costly on board iner of ships can be checked.

The question rises how to increase the number of checked vessels without increasing the number of the personnel intensive on board inspections. Within the BSH funded MeSMarT project (measurement of shipping emissions in the marine troposphere, www.mesmart.de) the University of Bremen enhanced a method to estimate the FSC of passing vessels by measuring the chemical composition of the exhaust gas from remote. Therefore modified standard in situ air quality monitors are used. By sending the analysis results in near real time to the responsible authorities, this information can be used to select
conspicuously measured vessels for the on board inspections (targeting).

Since summer 2016 the above described remote measurement method is in test operation at a pilot station about 10 km downriver of Hamburg harbour. Due to very positive experience the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) decided to establish a German air monitoring network to support MARPOL Annex-VI compliance monitoring. This monitoring network will consist of up to six fixed measurement sites close to the main shipping lanes of sea-going vessels (e.g. Elbe, Bremerhaven, Kiel, Warnemnde,), as well as one mobile station on board a research vessel.

The monitoring network will be set up and operated by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH). It is planned to report conspicuously measured vessels automatically in near real time to the international database Thetis-EU (http://emsa.europa.eu/psc-main/thetis.html).

Results from compaspections carried out by the water police or the port state control (PSC) at the port of calling. Due to the large number of vessels calling ports inside the ECA regions, only a small numbrable remote measurement carried out in other states (e.g. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, and Belgium) will be reported by the national operators to this database, too. As all national authorities of EMSA member states do have access, the Thetis-EU database enables a quick data exchange to trigger on board inspections and therefore to increase the inspections efficiency in all countries.
Progress reports
14.1
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
SHIPPING
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
14.c
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
December 2017
operationalization of the existing station in Wedel
December 2019
Build up and operationize five more stations
December 2020
Establish a mobile measurement system on a BSH vessel
In-kind contribution
monitoring network
Basic information
Time-frame: 12/2015 - 12/2020
Partners
"Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) (Lead, Government) Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen (Academic Institution) "Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) (Lead, Government) Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen (Academic Institution) Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) (Lead, Government) Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen (Academic Institution)
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Karin Schrder, Head of Staff Unit, Germienkoordinierung@bsh.de,
Other SDGs
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