Categories: British Ports Association, BusinessPublished On: 01.08.2019654 words3.3 min read

The final iteration of the Government’s guidance to ports in scope of the ‘expectation’ to produce air quality strategies was published alongside the Clean Maritime Plan. The BPA has been working very closely with Government since these were first proposed and whilst it is not perfect, we believe it is in a better place than earlier drafts. It is less prescriptive than before and we are continuing to work with Government on getting more informal information and guidance out to those affected (as well as those who are interested in doing more on emissions voluntarily). For more details and a copy of the guidance, see BPA Circular 223

Reducing Emissions from Domestic Vessels
The Government has also published a call for evidence on reducing emissions from domestic vessels. This document can be found hereand ports of all sizes and focus are encouraged to respond individually. The BPA will also be responding on behalf of industry and speaking to officials to ascertain what direction this might head in, in terms of policy interventions. This call for evidence includes all vessels that operate domestically on inland waterways and/or in the UK’s coastal waters. We do not think that the Government has any specific policies in mind at the moment, but possible interventions that could flow from this could include regulation (either new rules or bringing all or some of the vessels above into line with other types of vessels), financial incentives for lower-emission vessels, or other kinds of incentive schemes. More details can be found in BPA Circular 223

Open-Loop Scrubbers
The BPA and UKMPG organised a meeting for ports interested in the operation of open-loop scrubbers and the shipping industry this month. There has been some concern at the use of open-loop scrubbers in harbour areas at the potential for contaminants to build up in sediment over the long-term. Those in the shipping industry that are promoting their use told the meeting that ships fitted with scrubbers emitted less sulphur than vessels burning low-sulphur fuel. They have commissioned research into the impact of these systems on sediments in ports and other environments where water flow may be restricted or generally lower than the open ocean.

We are continuing to work with the UK Chamber of Shipping on this issue and we are keen to see – and scrutinise – any evidence or data that is produced. Up until now the focus of pro-scrubber shipping lobbying has been focussed on water quality. We will keep members updated once we hear more from the shipping industry but until we see robust evidence to the contrary, we remain concerned about the potential negative impact on sediment quality, which can be extremely costly for ports. Please more information.

Marine recreation- Red Diesel provision and use for pleasure craft
The HMRC launched a consultation on proposals to implement an EU Court of Justice ruling against UK arrangements currently allowing the use ofred dieselfuel in private recreational craft. The ruling means that private/non-commercial marine leisure users will have to use unmarked/white diesel instead of red diesel. This could potentially mean a large hike in recreational sailing costs as red diesel use has a much lower rate of tax (red diesel has an 11.14p per litre duty rate and white is set at 57.95p per litre). The changes will not apply to commercial vessels (including fishing and commercial passenger boats) so they will still be able to use red diesel.

The RYA have suggested that this might potentially lead to fuel shortages in some areas. We will be responding to the consultation which is seeking views on potential impacts and we would encourage individual ports and their users to respond as well. If you have any views or concerns you would like us to include in our consultation response please send these to advance of the 9 September deadline.


Source: BPA