Shipping companies must report greenhouse gas emissions

container ship on the seaClick to enlarge
Maritime transport accounts for 2.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Source: Dan Barnes / iStockphoto

In an initial step to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport, shipping companies must monitor and report their emissions starting 01.01.2018. The German Emissions Trading Authority at UBA (DEHSt) is the competent authority for emissions monitoring in Germany.

The basis for the new reporting obligation is the European regulation on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport (EU 2015/757). The Regulation applies to all vessels above 5,000 gross tonnage during their voyages to or from a port of call within the EU.

Transparency is meant to increase pressure on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to create globally binding emission reduction goals for shipping companies. If the EU does not deem that the IMO has achieved these aims, maritime transport may become subject to engaging in emissions trading.

In Germany the EU Regulation was transposed into national law through an amendment to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act (TEHG) which entered into force in July 2017. According to the law, shipping companies must monitor the emissions of their vessels covered by the EU Regulation starting 01.01.2018 and – as of 2019 – submit an annual and verified emissions report by 30 April of every year. The DEHSt is the authority responsible for imposing penalties in case of breach. If emissions reports fail to be submitted or miss the deadline, a fine of up to EUR 50,000 will apply. The scope of DEHSt’s authority covers ships flying a German flag and foreign flags.

Maritime transport accounts for 2.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.