Preparing for the E.U.’s MRV Regulation

By MarEx 2015-09-27 18:08:39

The MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) regulation aims to quantify and reduce CO2 emissions from shipping and will create a new kind of benchmarking system in Europe. DNV GL has prepared an overview of how MRV will affect the maritime industry and what shipping companies need to do to achieve compliance.

The regulation in a nutshell

The European Commission (E.C.) is bringing emissions from shipping into its 2009 climate and energy package. MRV is designed to progressively integrate maritime emissions into the E.U.’s policy for reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions (E.U. regulation 2015/757). MRV requires ship owners and operators to annually monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions for vessels equal to or larger than 5,000 GT and which call at any E.U. port. The results will be published on a regular basis. Entered into force on July 1, 2015, the regulation will become fully effective on January 1, 2018.

Shipping companies will need to prepare a monitoring plan by August 31, 2017, at the latest, for each of their ships that falls under the jurisdiction of the regulation. They will have to monitor and report the verified amount of CO2 emitted by their vessels on voyages to, from and between E.U. ports and will also be required to provide information on energy efficiency parameters.

Data collection will start on a per-voyage basis from January 1, 2018. Once the data is verified by a third-party organization and sent to a central database, presumably managed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the aggregated ship emission and efficiency data will be published by the European Commission by June 30, 2019 and then every consecutive year.

Monitoring and reporting

Shipowners will have to monitor the following parameters on a per-voyage basis:

• Port of departure and port of arrival, including the date and hour of departure and arrival

• Amount and emission factor for each type of fuel consumed in total

• CO2 emitted

• Distance travelled

• Time spent at sea

• Cargo carried

Transport work

In addition to the companies reporting annually aggregated figures for the parameters, the data is to be used to calculate and report average energy efficiency.

The basis for the calculation of CO2 emissions will be the fuel consumption for voyages starting or terminating at any E.U. port. Fuel consumption shall be determined and calculated using one of the following methods:

• Bunker Fuel Delivery Note (BDN) and periodic stock takes of fuel tanks

• Bunker fuel tank monitoring on board

• Flow meters for applicable combustion processes

• Direct CO2 emissions measurements


Accredited verifiers will have three key tasks:

1. to verify ship-specific monitoring plans,

2. to verify that the annual ship-specific emissions reports comply with the monitoring plans and

3. to verify that the figures contained in the annual ship-specific emissions reports are accurate.

Presently, no companies have been granted accreditation, as criteria remain under development by the E.C. It is clear that the E.C. will not only consider class societies as potential verifiers, but will also add other organizations to the list.


August 31, 2017 – Companies are to submit ship-specific monitoring plans to verifiers for approval

January 1, 2018 – Per-voyage monitoring to start

April 30, 2019 – Verified annual emission reports submitted to the E.C.

June 30, 2019 – Emission data made publicly available by the E.C.

This cycle will then repeat for subsequent years.

Outstanding issues

A number of issues governing the implementation of the regulation remain to be settled. These include details of cargo monitoring and efficiency calculation, the inclusion of AIS-based verification, criteria for accreditation of verifiers and the development of monitoring plans and reporting templates. Industry stakeholders, including DNV GL, are providing input to the E.C. through the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF). The E.C. plans to publish documentation for the outstanding issues towards the end of 2016.

Recommended actions for DNV GL customers

The practical impact of the MRV regulation on owners and operators is not yet fully clear. There will be a need to monitor and report data, but the exact formats and templates for doing so are not yet available. Nevertheless, it would be advisable for ship owners and operators to prepare for MRV ahead of time and start considering how to best fulfil the forthcoming monitoring and reporting obligations for their own ship as well as their shore systems and routines ahead of time. Steps such as developing the mandated monitoring plan as well as examining how to best collect, aggregate and report fuel consumption and transport work data for their ships are particularly important.

More information is available here.


World Tourism Day: Celebrating a Billion Opportunities

By MarEx 2015-09-27 17:50:30

Under the theme “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities,” World Tourism Day, September 27, emphasizes the impact of the sector on economic growth, job creation and development.

The U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, stated in his message on the occasion: “Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”

With five consecutive years of growth, tourism has been a major contributor to the economic recovery, creating jobs and opportunities for communities in many parts of the world. With an increase of four percent in international tourist arrivals in the first semester of 2015, the sector follows an increasing trend that is estimated to reach 1.8 billion international tourists by the year 2030.

“Every time we travel we are part of a global movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, to create jobs and to build the sustainable societies we want for our future,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai in his World Tourism Day message. “This movement also contributes to build mutual understanding and to safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage,” he added.

A transformative force, tourism brings livelihood opportunities and helps alleviate poverty, making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people. At present, international tourism contributes $US 1.5 billion to global trade representing 30 percent of the world’s service exports, a share that goes up to 45 percent in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Tourism also plays a key role in fostering multicultural understanding and contributing to the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.

This linkage is particularly relevant as the international community prepares to adopt the post-2015 agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where tourism has been identified as a sector that “creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.”

World Tourism Day has been celebrated on September 27 since 1980. This date coincides with the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on September 27, 1970.


Global Tourism Industry Deserves More

By MarEx 2015-09-27 17:26:23

The huge potential of the tourism sector for inclusive growth and job creation, particularly in developing countries, justifies a greater share of trade-related development assistance. That’s one of the main messages of a new report by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) called Tourism and Trade: A Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Just 0.78 percent of Aid for Trade disbursements went to tourism in 2013, even though the sector accounts for six percent of developing countries’ exports and around four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in low-income countries. More Aid for Trade funding should be allocated to the sector, ITC and UNWTO say in their joint report, and tourism projects should be bigger.

The study underscores the importance of tourism to sustainable development. The report finds that the sector may not be able to reach its full potential to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth without strong, coordinated action around tourism export strategies that take full account of the different policy frameworks governing the flows of travellers, services, goods and foreign direct investment. The report illustrates the importance of trade, investment and visa policies to tourism from two perspectives – the tourist journey and the tourism value chain.

Another key finding is that open trade policies cutting across a wide range of sectors – not just transport and the hospitality industry – can facilitate tourism. These sectors range from financial and insurances services, to make it easier for tourists to access local currency or their own bank accounts, through to health, education and communications.

In recent decades, tourism has enjoyed rapid expansion and geographic ‎diversification, becoming one of the fastest-growing economic sectors worldwide. The tourism industry now ranks fourth among worldwide export sectors – behind only fuels, chemicals and food – and accounts for fully 30 percent of global services trade. UNWTO says domestic and international tourism expenditure generated US$ 1.5 trillion last year, adding 10 percent to global GDP and representing one out of every 11 jobs worldwide.

Tourism is the top export of about a third of developing countries, which play an increasingly important role in the sector. Emerging and developing economies register 45 percent of all international tourist arrivals today, and this share is forecast to reach 57 percent by 2030. Tourism is an important driver of economic growth in these countries and is employment intensive, with linkages into many other parts of the economy. The industry also contributes directly to poverty reduction – notably among women.

Tourism has, therefore, a key role to play in maximizing the contribution of trade in services to development, job creation and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, the ITC-UNWTO report says.

That means tourism, which appears to be highly under-represented in Aid for Trade flows, according to the report, requires a bigger piece of the Aid for Trade pie. And tourism projects, which receive about US$ 500,000 on average, well below the amount spent on projects in most other sectors, must be more comprehensive, reflecting the industry’s full value chain.

Increased coordination among donors and implementing agencies can help to design and implement more comprehensive tourism projects that are more effective in enhancing tourism’s contribution to sustainable development, the report says. It is in this context that ITC and UNWTO have entered into a strategic partnership in order to aggregate the two organizations’ resources and competencies, to share perspectives in the process of rethinking a joint approach to Aid for Trade in tourism, and to generate greater donor interest in funding tourism activities for the benefit of developing countries.

“We need to put more trade in the tourism community and more tourism in the trade community so that the two synergize their actions for sustainable, inclusive growth,” said ITC Executive Director Arancha González. “This ITC-UNWTO report does just that.”

The report is available here.


Study Finds 25 Percent of Fish Eat Rubbish

By MarEx 2015-09-26 01:18:57

Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris, plastic or fibrous material, in their guts, according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the first to directly link plastic and man-made debris to the fish on consumers’ dinner plates.

“It’s interesting that there isn’t a big difference in the amount of debris in the fish from each location, but in the type, plastic or fiber,” said lead author Chelsea Rochman, a researcher at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “We think the type of debris in the fish is driven by differences in local waste management.”

The researchers sampled 76 fish from markets in Makassar, Indonesia, and 64 from Half Moon Bay and Princeton in California. All of the fragments recovered from fish in Indonesia were plastic. In contrast, 80 percent of the debris found in California fish was fibers, whereas not a single strand of fiber was found in Indonesian fish.

Indonesia has little in the way of landfills, waste collection or recycling, and large amounts of plastic are tossed onto the beaches and into the ocean. The problem is made worse by a lack of purified drinking water that forces its residents to drink bottled water.

“Indonesia has some of the highest marine life richness and biodiversity on Earth, and its coastal regions, mangroves, coral reefs and their beaches, are just awash in debris,” said co-author Susan Williams, a professor with the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory who has worked on projects in Indonesia for the past several years. “You have the best and the worst situation right in front of you in Indonesia.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. has highly advanced systems for collecting and recycling plastics. However, most Californians wash their clothing in washing machines, the water from which empties into more than 200 wastewater treatment plants offshore California. The authors theorize that fibers remaining in sewage effluent from washing machines were ingested by fish sampled in the state.

“To mitigate the issue in each location, it helps to think about local sources and differences in waste management strategies,” Rochman said.

The scientists emphasize that the plastic and fibers are found in the fishes’ guts. That means humans are likely to ingest the debris only if the fish is eaten whole, as it is in Indonesia, or such as with sardines and anchovies, rather than filleted. However, researchers are still studying whether chemicals in plastic can transfer into the meat.

The study is available here.