Nineteen EU states have not yet enacted laws to implement a limit on SO2 emissions in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and English Channel that will apply from January.
The European Commission will begin ‘pilot investigations’, the first stage of infringement proceedings, if the countries have not transposed the directive on the sulphur content of marine fuels by next month, a spokesman said.
Member states had until 18 June to transpose the directive into national laws.
The Commission is opposed to allowing exemptions or delayed implementation of the new emission limit as called for by some shipping firms, particularly from the UK.
“The Commission is aware that the UK Chamber of Shipping is calling for exemptions or derogations to give more time to comply. But it is not considering and will not grant any exemptions or derogations on the date of the entry into force, 1 January 2015, of the new… requirements,” the spokesman said. More information can be found here.