Mediterranean coastal states are jointly applying to the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for the sea and region to be designated a sulphur oxide (SOx) emission control area (ECA).

The applicants want the ECA, which will apply a 0.1% limit on the sulphur content of fuel compared with a 0.5% global limit, to enter into force from 1 January 2025. The controls will also help reduce particulate matter emissions.