Denmark vows to shame sulphur cheats

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 14 December 2018


Ships and owners which violate sulphur emission regulations will in future be publicly ‘named and shamed’ the Danish government has decided.

This week Denmark adopted a new law that allows for increased fines and publication of names for conceited offenders. All Danish waters are within the European SECA areas where only fuel with a sulphur content of 0.1% is permitted. The vast majority of ships and shipping companies comply with the limits, but some choose a to ignore the rules.

Denmark has established a system of monitoring involving helicopters and sensors on the great Belt Bridge. In addition, the Danish Maritime Authority on behalf of the Danish EPA regularly test fuel samples from ships calling at Danish ports.

Penalties for violating the sulphur regulations range from DKK 30,000 to DKK 300,000. The Danish EPA will impose a fine of DKK 200,000 if the sulphur content is between 0.50 and 0.99% and DKK 300,000 where sulphur content is 1% or above. The Danish EPA's control of ships' sulphur emissions shows that over 90% of the ships measured by air monitoring during the appear to comply with the rules. Analyses of oil samples taken from ships in Danish ports show that about 95%. of the ships comply with the rules. Since the SECA level was reduced to 0.1% in 2015, some 31 vessels have been reported to Danish police for contraventions.

"There are unfortunately some ships that sail through Danish waters with black conscience and unnecessarily emit sulphur into the air we all breathe. It is forbidden, and now the shipping company can be published if it cannot comply with the rules. I am pleased with the strong support from the industry, which means that in Denmark we can now take the lead in an important environmental agenda, while making competition fairer between shipping companies, "said Environment and Food Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

It will be the most serious cases where shipping companies receive fines of more than 200,000 kroner, which will be published. The new law comes into force on 1 January 2019, however, a notice must be prepared before the names can be published. The announcement is expected to be sent in consultation in the spring and is expected to enter into force on 1 July 2019.

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