On 16 September 2011, the Commission issued a Staff Paper "Pollutant emission reduction from maritime transport and the Sustainable Waterbome Transport Toolbox" accompanying the Commission proposal and communication of 15 July 2011 amending Directive 1999/32/EC on the use of low sulphur marine fuels. (The amended Directive was adopted on 21 November 2012 as Directive 2012/33/EU).
The "Sustainable Waterbome Transport Toolbox" aims at addressing the environmental challenges the shipping sector is confronted with in an integrated manner, in order to help it to achieve sustainability objectives in the long run. The proposed actions shall be flexible and neutral and minimise any possible unwanted effects. The actions will be part of a coherent action to facilitate the efficient use of energy in the field of transport, i.e. the Clean Transport System Initiative (see the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system). EMSA has been requested to support the development of a number of actions identified in the Sustainable Waterbome Transport Toolbox.
LNG as fuel in ships
The Commission has expressed its intention to proceed with some of the key actions outlined in that document, among them the setting up of a platform gathering the relevant stakeholders on LNG as ships' fuel. For this reason the Commission invited, to a first set of ad hoc meetings, the experts from relevant parts of the industry to initiate an exchange of view, focussing on concrete technical and operational obstacles to the use of LNG. The Commission indicated that at this stage, funding issues will not be addressed. The aim of the Commission at this stage is to develop an action plan that would specifically contribute to the use of LNG as alternative fuel in shipping. In 2012 a total of three expert group meetings took place. The last one, which was organised in Brussels in December, was also attended by a number of Member States representatives.
EMSA is acting as secretariat for the groups currently working; the port- and ship-owner groups.
In May 2012 EMSA published a tender for study to develop possible EU guidance and/or technical standards for LNG bunkering. The tender was awarded to Germanischer Lloyd. The final study is expected to be presented at the beginning of 2013.
The Commission has indicated that there might be a need for other expert groups to meet in order to discuss other issues related to the Sustainable Waterborne Transport Toolbox, such as scrubbers.