Environment and shipping

das Bild zeigt Charles Darwin

Everything, what is against nature, will not last for long.

Charles Darwin

In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made important decisions on maritime environmental protection at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting. These developments would not have been expected 10 years ago and show that politics, administration, shipping and industry agree nationally and internationally that the seas can only be protected with joint, coordinated decisions.

From 1 January 2020, for example, only marine fuel with a sulphur content of 0.50% may be used worldwide – instead of the current 3.50%. In addition, the IMO decided that the North Sea and the Baltic Sea should be declared a emission control area for nitrogen oxides, a so-called NECA. Last but not least, the ratification of Finland in 2016, following many years of negotiations, resulted in the necessary number of ratifications required for the Ballast Water Management Convention to enter into force.

In this context, the BSH supports the German delegation in the IMO processes as well as in the negotiations of the regional marine environmental agreements HELCOM and OSPAR. In addition, the BSH assumes important tasks in the implementation of the international regulations, such as the prosecution of administrative offences in the event of violations of the provisions of the MARPOL and Ballast Water Management Conventions. The BSH also carries out accompanying research projects, feeding results into the discussions at international level.