The document is intended to provide guidance for a harmonised approach to the inspection of ships, ascertaining their compliance, identifying non-compliances and applying control procedures for the enforcement of Directive (EU) 2016/802 (codification of Council Directive 1999/32/EC), as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels.
The provisions of the Directive apply to all ships of all flags, including domestic shipping and those whose journey began outside the EU. It sets sulphur content limits of the marine fuels that can be used by ships in territorial seas, exclusive economic zones and pollution control zones of the EU Member States, including SOx Emission Control Areas (SECA).
The limitations on the sulphur content of certain fuels shall in principle not apply to e.g. fuels used by warships and other vessels under military service, and to fuels used on board vessels employing emission abatement methods in accordance with the Directive. Under some exceptional circumstances, the limitations on the sulphur content of fuels used by ships shall also not apply .
A sulphur inspection under the Directive should focus on the operation and behaviour of a ship while in sea areas and ports of the geographical jurisdiction of the Member State. However, additional enforcement actions may be required in accordance with international maritime law in relation to the operation and behaviour in those areas or beyond.
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