Towards EU 2020: An Outlook of SECA Regulations Implementation in the BSR

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The clean shipping concept emerged in a bid to make maritime transportation green and environmentally friendly. This mandate is being accomplished through improved conducts, actions and technology in the maritime industry. One of such measures was the creation of the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) in 2005 and 2012 to reduce the rate of sulphur emissions from shipping. Sustainable growth—an EU 2020 priority—is strategically linked to the SECA regulation in that it promotes resource efficiency, greener environment and a competitive economy.

Thus, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and, as adopted by the European Parliament (EP), SECA regulation stipulated that from 2015 all ships in SECA are under the obligation to use low sulphur marine fuel that must not exceed 0.1% (IMO, 2011). This regulation has incited rigorous arguments on the economic disadvantage it would subject affected maritime stakeholders who are made to comply with stringent regulation their counterparts in non-SECA are not subjected to.

Two years of 0.1% sulphur regulations have witnessed many changes in the maritime industry and most of the first responses were realised with vessels that ply along the Baltic Sea. This work presents an account of European maritime industry’s approaches towards SECA regulations and the stakeholders’ thoughts on the economic impact of SECA. This contribution brings a clearer picture to the status quo as well as highlighting a needed future focus.

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Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

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