NEW Zealand will soon be joining MARPOL Annex VI, the part of the IMO Marine Pollution Convention that has to do with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from ships.

Maritime NZ last week released for public consultation the draft Marine Protection Rules to support the implementation of MARPOL Annex VI.

Consultation will be open for four weeks to give interested stakeholders and members of the public an opportunity to provide feedback.

Maritime NZ deputy director regulatory systems design Peter Brunt said releasing the draft Marine Protection Rules is the culmination of over 12 months of work.

“The current document reflects feedback from early engagement with industry stakeholders and interested parties,” he said.

“Cabinet agreed in 2019 to adopt MARPOL Annex VI and once the Rules are implemented in 2022, New Zealand’s obligations will include limiting sulphur fuels on ships, energy efficiency requirements, and controls on emissions of ozone-depleting substances, among others. By implementing these environmental measures, New Zealand joins other jurisdictions such as the USA and U.K. who already have MARPOL Annex VI in place.

“It is a detailed and multifaceted set of Rules and it is important that ship operators and ports are aware of what they will need to do to comply,” Mr Brunt said.

Maritime NZ is working closely with the NZ Ministry of Transport and other government agencies to implement MARPOL Annex VI and ensure the new requirements are introduced in a way that supports New Zealand’s fleet to comply with the changes.

Following consultation, Maritime NZ will refine the draft Rules based on the submissions and will focus on implementation of the Rules through a variety of activities. This will include developing comprehensive guidance for how to comply with the new marine protection Rules.

Mr Brunt said, “In a country where the sea plays such a big part in our lives, reducing the impact of shipping on climate change will benefit all of us. Maritime NZ is pleased to be working with the Ministry of Transport and others on these important Rules. We are looking forward to hearing from a range of stakeholders, so we can ensure that MARPOL Annex VI is rolled out successfully.”