Norway acts to protect fjords

2019-03-31T16:15:40+00:00 March 31st, 2019|Safety|

On 1st March, new environmental requirements for emissions and discharges in the world heritage fjords of Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord entered into force.

The requirements were drawn up by the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) at the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.

“The Government wishes to reduce the emissions and discharges from cruise ships and other vessels. The entry into force of these new requirements is a step in the right direction for the environment and more particularly for the world heritage fjords,” said the Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen (pictured).

Environmental mapping over the past few years has identified large-scale emissions and discharges from ships in the world heritage fjords, particularly in the summer season.

Both national and international shipowners and local authorities were involved in drafting this legislation.

In addition, a requirement for an environmental instruction for the individual ship and a prohibition against incineration of waste on board will be introduced.

The sulfur emissions shall comply with international requirements in all the world heritage fjords. Ships which are protected or given status as historical by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage may apply for exemption from certain provisions.

“The new requirements are based on international requirements well-known to the cruise ship industry,” said Bjørn Pedersen, NMA Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations. “What is remarkable, though, is that the requirements will apply to ships irrespective of the year of construction.”

The new requirements are expected to lead to reduced emissions and discharges by this summer. Over the next few years, the requirements will gradually become stricter, and the emissions and discharges are expected to be further reduced.

The NMA will verify that the requirements are being met by measuring emissions and discharges and carrying out inspections on board vessels, the authority said.

In a presentation, DNV GL’s Eirik Nyhus, DNV GL Maritime’s environment director, explained that for NOx, Tier 1 requirement will kick in next year, followed by Tier II in 2022 and Tier III by 2025 with zero emissions in the world heritage fjords by 2026. Scrubber water discharge was also banned on 1st March this year.

Nyhus thought that as a result, a large number of cruise ships will be banned. He also said that the Norwegian authorities were seeking to expand the areas affected.