North America ECA

As from 1st August 2012 the North America Emission Control Area is coming in to force according with Marpol Annex VI new appendix containing the geographical definition of the ECA zone according with MEPC.a/Circ.723.

Sulphur Limit

As from 1st August 2012 vessels should use fuel with the following sulfur limits when within North America ECA zone:

*1.00% sulphur on or after 1st August 2012
*0.10% sulphur on or after 1st January 2015
*an equivalent method as approved by MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 4.

Non Availability of Low Sulphur Fuel

If despite ship managers best efforts are unable to provide vessel with required 1.0% sulphur fuel then USCG gives the operator the possibility to submit a Fuel Oil Non-Availability report. This report must be submitted to USCG and flag administration as soon as they are aware of the problem but not less than 96 hours prior entering North America ECA zone.

Managers can submit Non Availability reports on: marine-eca@epa.gov

See pages 5 and 6 of EPA guidance regarding what Not Availability report should include.


Fuel Oil Change Over Procedures


Vessels that change to low sulphur fuels when operating inside ECA zones must have written fuel oil change over procedures containing:

*Step by step procedure for carrying out the fuel oil change over.
*The date, time and position of the vessel,
*Methods for calculating the time necessary to ensure the fuel oil service system is fully flushed of all high sulphur fuels oils prior entering ECA zone. See our previous post where you can download relevant calculator.

Vessels with scriber technology or with permanent use of low sulphur fuels oils no need to have writen change over procedures.

Also please note our previous post for implementation of ECA by Canadian Port state control.

Below we have included the copy of North American ECA maps extracted from MEPC.1/Circ.723. It is clear that the eCA zone extents 200nm from the shores. For accurate way points please referee to IMO MEPC.1/Circ.723

Atlantic Coast & Gulf of Mexico


Hawaiian Islands


Pacific Coast