USA Maritime compliance: At-berth emission regulations in California (update March 2023)

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( The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Ocean-Going Vessels “At Berth” Regulation 2020 came into force on 01 January 2023. The amended regulation aims to further reduce diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from ocean-going vessels’ auxiliary engines alongside regulated Californian ports and terminals.

The original “At Berth” Regulation was first introduced in 2007, requiring a certain percentage of fleets’ vessels to plug into shore power whilst at regulated berths based on the type of vessel and frequency of port calls. The new "At Berth" 2020 Regulation expands the requirements to include more vessel types and increases the number of regulated terminals and ports.

Phased schedule compliance start date:

Compliance date:Vessel Type:
January 1st, 2023Container, reefer and passenger vessels.
January 1st, 2024Ro-Ro vessels. Tankers visiting the
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
January 1st, 2025All remaining tankers.


Vessels with shore power plug-in capabilities must plug into shore power during their port stays. Alternatively, vessels are required to use a pre-approved CARB Approved Emission Control Strategy (CAECS). Additionally, if not connected to shore power, tankers with steam-driven pumps must meet auxiliary boilers’ performance standards as specified within the regulations.

Reporting requirements were also due to come into force on 1 January 2023. However, due in part to extreme weather affecting California in the beginning of January 2023, CARB has granted an extension to reporting requirements under the Regulation until 1 April 2023.

Required reporting is for all vessel types from 01 April 2023, in addition to container, reefer and passenger vessels. Visit Reports must be submitted to CARB within 30 days of each vessel’s departure by the vessel’s operators. A template reporting form provided by CARB
can be found here.

Non-compliance with the At Berth 2020 Regulation will result in fines of up to USD37,500 for each nonconformance action item for every day the vessel remains non-compliant.


You can download the updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, below:



Source: California Air Resources Board



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