Maritime Compliance: Decarbonising Maritime Transport – FuelEU Maritime


( Adopted in July 2023 as part of the Commission’s Fit for 55 legislative package to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the FuelEU Maritime Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2023/1805) promotes the use of renewable, low-carbon fuels and clean energy technologies for ships, essential to support decarbonisation in the sector.

FuelEU Maritime sets maximum limits for the yearly average greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of the energy used by ships above 5,000 gross tonnage calling at European ports, regardless of their flag. Targets will ensure that the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels used in the sector will gradually decrease over time, starting with a 2% decrease by 2025 and reaching up to an 80% reduction by 2050. Those targets will become more ambitious over time to stimulate and reflect the necessary developments in technology and the uptake in production of renewable and low-carbon fuels. The targets cover not only CO2 but also methane and nitrous oxide emissions over the full lifecycle of the fuels used onboard, on a Well-to-Wake (WtW) basis.

The Regulation also introduces additional zero-emission requirements for ships at berth, mandating the use of on-shore power supply (OPS) or alternative zero-emission technologies in ports, by passenger ships and containerships, with a view to mitigating air pollution emissions in ports, which are often close to densely populated areas.

By taking a life-cycle, goal-based and technology-neutral approach, FuelEU Maritime allows for innovation and the development of new sustainable fuels and energy conversion technologies, offering operators the freedom to decide which fuels to use based on ship-specific or operation-specific profiles. The Regulation also provides for different flexibility mechanisms, supporting existing fleets to find suitable compliance strategies and rewarding first-movers for early investment in energy transition.

FuelEU Maritime will enter into force from 1 January 2025 except for Articles 8 and 9 on monitoring plans which shall apply from 31 August 2024.

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