Today the Annual Meeting of the Helsinki Commission (), consisting of the Baltic coastal countries and the EU, have agreed on a Roadmap which includes a commitment to submit to IMO a proposal for a Baltic Sea NOx Emission Control Area (NECA) – according to the IMO MARPOL Convention Annex VI - in parallel with the North Sea. According to the Roadmap it will be submitted to the IMO MEPC 70 meeting, scheduled already for next autumn. Photo: Maritime Office in GdyniaNitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from shipping is a major source of airborne deposition of Nitrogen, aggravating the serious eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. According to estimates, Baltic Sea NECA has potential to cost-efficiently and significantly – around 7 kilotons – reduce Nitrogen input to the Baltic Sea annually after a time lag needed for fleet renewal as the regulation addresses only new ships.The initiative for a Baltic Sea NECA emerges from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, agreed by the nine coastal countries and the EU in 2007. Since 2007 HELCOM has carried out the necessary environmental and economic studies, finalized the needed submission papers as well as carried out intensive negotiations on the right timing for a final submission to IMO. This anticipated reduction is significant and corresponds to more than the entire country-wise Nitrogen pollution load reduction commitment of several Baltic Sea countries according to the HELCOM Country Allocated Reduction Target (CART) scheme agreed in 2007, and updated in 2013.Beginning tomorrow the coastal countries and the HELCOM Secretariat will prepare for a submission to the MEPC 70 Meeting, scheduled to take place in October 2016. This Baltic Sea NECA submission is planned to take place parallel to a similar NECA submission from the North Sea countries. >* * *Note for editorsDuring the last decade shipping has steadily increased in the Baltic Sea, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the region. The of HELCOM, originally established in 1975, identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized implementation of international shipping regulations in accordance to the 1992 Helsinki Convention. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. * * *For more information, please contact:Hermanni Backer Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groups HELCOM Tel: +358 46 8509199 Skype: helcom02 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
Today the Annual Meeting of HELCOM, consisting of the Baltic coastal countries and the EU, have agreed on a NECA Roadmap which has potential to significantly reduce NOx input from ships.