MARPOL Regulations

What is MARPOL Regulation?

MARPOL (shortened Marine Pollution) is one of IMO’s conventions that focus on preventing different forms of marine pollution including oil, noxious liquid substances, harmful substances, waste water, garbage and emissions of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide at sea. Mandatory limitations on NOx being released on the atmosphere are under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13. The regulation affects not only ships from signatory states but ships entering MARPOL signatory-members’ waters.

When and where will MARPOL Regulation be effective?

International Maritime Organization did not only assign limits on SOx, NOx and Particulate matters but the specialized UN agency also defines Emission Control Areas (ECA) where the emission standards will apply (as proposed and agreed by the member states). Included in these areas are the Baltic Sea (2006) and North Sea (2007). In 2010, IMO officially designated waters in North American coasts which include waters adjacent to the Pacific coast, the Atlantic/Gulf coast extending to 200 nautical miles from US coast as part of ECA. Waters around Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are just recently designated by IMO as part of ECA but the standards will be effective on 2014. Norway, Japan and Mediterranean areas are being considered for further ECA proposal.


MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13

Vessel with Engine more than 130kW power output installed on ships constructed
on or after 1 Jan 2000

  • on or after 1 Jan 2000Tier I

    Sets the baseline for NOx emission limits on marine engines with the power output of at least 130kW
  • on or after 1 Jan 2011Tier II

    Some modification to the marine engine would be able to meet the Tier II NOx emission limits. Most marine engine manufacturers managed to introduce modifications without a need for after exhaust treatment system.
  • on or after 1 Jan 2016Tier III

    Major reduction in NOx emission limits, vessel will need to implement after exhaust treatment system such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to reduce the NOx.
    Alternatively will be to switch to LNG to meet NOx Emission Limits.

Tier I: Vessel Built on or before 1 Jan 2000


Tier II: Vessel Built on or after 1 Jan 2011


Tier III: Vessel Built on or after 1 Jan 2016