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EMSA sniffer drone supports French authorities to monitor ship emissions on Mediterranean Sea coast

Deployed drone takes measurements from exhaust plumes of passing ships to verify compliance with EU and IMO rules capping the sulphur content of bunker fuels.




press release web rpas06102022

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on Thursday (6 October) said it has responded to a request from French authorities to provide surveillance support for multiple tasks including the monitoring of emissions from passenger and commercial ships using the busy ports in the area of Marseille (Port of Marseille, Port of Fos).

The sniffer drone deployed takes measurements from the exhaust plumes of passing ships to help verify compliance with EU and IMO rules capping the sulphur content of marine fuels (Directive (EU) 2016/802 and MARPOL Annex VI), with a view to reducing harmful effects on human health and the environment. The operation follows recent successful trials and is expected to run until 23 December 2022.

The ship safety inspectors of the Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea (DIRM MED) in charge of dockside controls will be directly involved in the targeting of vessels in close contact with the pilots of the drone.

Each flight will be followed in real time through EMSA’s RPAS Data Centre and the measurements taken will trigger follow-up inspections via the THETIS-EU database for port state control where instances of non-compliance are suspected.

The particular model of RPAS in use is ideal for rapid mobilisation from different sites. The ATLAS 4 vertical take-off and landing quadcopter manufactured by ALTUS LSA and supplied by the ALTUS LSA-led consortium with ADAPTIT is under contract to EMSA and fully equipped with different payloads including cameras and emissions measurement sensors.

While emissions monitoring will be the primary task of the operation, the RPAS may also be deployed for other complementary tasks within a designated area. In this way, it can also serve the purposes of search and rescue, fisheries control, and marine pollution monitoring depending on the specific needs of the authorities at any given time.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) services are offered free of charge to all EU countries by EMSA. They have been developed to assist in maritime surveillance operations and ship emission monitoring and can operate in all seas surrounding the European Union. RPAS services can provide support to traditional coast guard functions, including search and rescue and pollution prevention and response. The services are offered to member countries as part of EMSA’s regional RPAS strategy, which allows multiple coast guard functions in several EU countries to be supported by one or more RPAS services.

rpas where we are flying in 20221003 for web

Related: EMSA drone starts shipping emissions surveillance operation in the Strait of Gibraltar
Related: EMSA and partner to start emissions monitoring campaign over Baltic Sea with drones
Related: France trials sniffer drone to tighten emissions control in the Pas-de-Calais SECA zone
Related: Danish Maritime Authority trials drones to monitor sulphur emissions from ships
Related: RPAS drones to monitor ship emissions for compliance in Danish waters
Related: “Snifferdron” to undergo three months of tests in Danish waters
Related: Danish Maritime Authority deploys ‘sniffer’ drone in Danish waters


Photo credit: European Maritime Safety Agency
Published: 11 October, 2022

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MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage

MPA said stationary tanker “Marine Honour” has ‘strict liability’ which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by fuel spilling from its cargo tank into Singapore waters.





MPA: Clean-up ops continue following oil spill in Singapore, affected beaches closed

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Thursday (20 June) said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

In response to media queries, MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

MPA added this falls under the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution) Act 1998, which is Singapore’s enactment of the 1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 CLC).

“The spirit of the ‘polluter pays’ principle simplifies the claims process by having a clear party against which to pursue claims without potential complications of proving fault,” it said in a statement. 

“This includes expenses that Singapore Government agencies are incurring such as clean-up costs at sea and on shore.”

“The owner of the Marine Honour retains the right to take recourse action against third parties for its pollution liability.”

Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

Published: 21 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

Naming ceremony and delivery of vessel, organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, marked entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.





CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

French shipping giant on Wednesday (19 June) said it celebrated the naming ceremony and delivery of its fourth LNG-fuelled container ship, CMA CGM Tivoli.

Organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, on 16 June, the event marked the official entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

“Featuring optimised features for 45-foot containers, increased capacity for refrigerated containers, and innovative forward accommodation to enhance cargo loading and aerodynamics, CMA CGM Tivoli distinguishes itself with a high ‘length to beam" ratio to maximise hydrodynamic efficiency,” the firm said in a social media post. 

“She departed the shipyard on June 15th, 2024, bound for Busan. We wish fair winds and smooth seas to Captain Artur Dumbrov and his crew.” 


Photo credit: CMA CGM
Published: 21 June, 2024

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DNV explains how its Emissions Connect can help in navigating new EU ETS landscape

DNV released a report on its Emissions Connect service and how the shipping industry could benefit from it in view of the expansion of EU ETS into shipping in January this year.






Classification society DNV on Thursday (16 November) released a Maritime Impact report on its Emissions Connect and how the shipping industry could benefit from it in view of the expansion of EU ETS into shipping in January this year: 

The introduction of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) into shipping has brought significant changes, deeply impacting financial operations, day-to-day management and commercial transactions. Frontline, a global leader in tankers, explains how DNV’s Emissions Connect is helping them to navigate this complex environment.

Growing moves to decarbonize the maritime industry are being accompanied and advanced by its rapid digitalization. Following the expansion of the EU ETS into shipping in January 2024, the importance of accurate, reliable data has never been higher. DNV’s Emissions Connect offers a comprehensive solution that ensures accuracy and dependability in emissions verification, helping stakeholders manage costs effectively under the new regulatory framework.

The role of data in a changing maritime environment

“We’re in a whole new dimension now,” says Pål Lande, Digital Business Development Director at DNV. “A lot of work has been done in recent years, and new regulations have emerged, gradually raising the importance of emissions data. This started with the EU’s Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation, which mandates emissions reporting on an annual basis.

“While MRV reporting will continue to be a requirement in itself, since January 2024 companies also have to manage the costs of carbon credits through the expansion of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme into shipping.”

Frontline’s digital journey

Although the implication of the EU ETS has changed the dynamics of emissions reporting, this has been on the horizon for some time. For some companies, this has been just another stage on their digitalization journey.

“We decided to embark on a journey about four years ago, together with DNV, to handle our digital transformation,” says Lars Pedersen, CTO at Frontline. “This started with data collection for ESG reporting and has since evolved into reporting for the EU’s MRV regulation and IMO’s Data Collection System.

“These were frontrunners to the EU ETS reporting and enabled a very smooth transition when this came into force in January 2024. This also means that we are well prepared for further regulations down the line, such as FuelEU Maritime.”

From annual to daily reporting

The implementation of the EU ETS in 2024 means that many shipowners now also need to report emissions data, and have it verified, as part of their day-to-day operations.

“Traditionally, decision-making in shipping has been informed by annual aggregated data, where deadlines were not urgent and the impacts from incorrectly inputted data were limited,” says Lande. “However, the introduction of the EU ETS has created a paradigm shift. While the ETS itself does not mandate daily reporting, the financial implications of emissions costs necessitate daily management of emissions data.

“Effective management of this data is now crucial, influencing everything from compliance and certification to financial accounting. It also profoundly affects how shipping companies interact with their commercial partners.”

Impact of EU ETS on commercial transactions

Under the EU ETS scheme, the shipowner is responsible for the reporting of data and the purchasing and surrendering of carbon credits, a change from previous regulations where the ship manager was responsible. Nonetheless, the complexity of commercial relationships means that clarity over emissions – and who will pay for them – is now a fundamental part of many transactions.

“Carbon costs and other liabilities need to be handled throughout the value chain. How this is done will depend on a range of factors, such as segment, geography and agreements between key stakeholders like owners, managers and charterers,” says Lande.

“For all of this to function correctly, it is vital that there is a high degree of trust in data related to emissions, and other things like ship performance. Failure to do this correctly could lead to a lot of disputes.”

The value of verification

Frontline operates one of the largest tanker fleets in the industry, dealing with commercial transactions across the value chain on a daily basis.

“Every voyage involves a commercial settlement between owners and charterers,” says Pedersen. “Before, this was limited to the hiring of the vessel, but now it also includes the settlement of emissions.”

For this to function correctly, it is crucial that the data is both accurate and reinforced by a stamp of approval from a trusted third party.

“Having accurate, trusted data, delivered in a timely and cost-efficient way, and verified by a recognized classification society like DNV, provides it with a level of trust and security. This generates confidence throughout our own operations and helps a lot in commercial settlements.”

Note: The full Maritime Impact by DNV can be found here


Photo credit: Frontline Management
Published: 21 June, 2024

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