Low Sulphur

Since the creation of the first Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Baltic Sea more than 10 years ago, Ocean Going Vessels are subject to stricter regulations both at global and regional level.

New Sulphur Regulation as from January 1st, 2015

Major SOx limit reduction

MARPOL Annex VI regulations for the prevention of Air Pollution from ships assigns Sulphur Oxides (SOx) Emission Control Areas (ECA) with more stringent controls on sulphur emissions.

Stricter regulations covering the sulphur content of fuel oil will be strengthened by local regulators (European Union, USA, Canada).

Over the years, ECAs have been extended to cover The English Channel and North Sea, as well as North America (both East and West Coast) and the Caribbean Sea where the maximum sulphur content has been gradually reduced from 4.5% to just 1% to date. In 2015 IMO regulations set new limits at 0.1% sulphur, which presents significant challenges for the whole maritime industry.


World map Sulphur


ECA SOx regulation application : Baltic Sea, the English Channel and North Sea, North American and Caribbean seas.


CMA CGM enforces its long-term commitment to protect the environment with a focus on sustainable development. The Group will do its outmost to comply with the new regulation as from January 1st, 2015.

This directive will require ships to use fuel with a maximum allowed sulphur content of 0.1% in the ECA.


Sulphur table CMA CGM

Impacts of SOx limit reduction on shipping lines

Extra costs

Marine Diesel Fuel with no more than 0.1% sulphur content is more expensive than Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (with 1.0% sulphur content). This higher price represents an additional cost of more than USD 100 million every year for CMA CGM, inflating expenditure.

Furthermore, technical issues when running the main engine with DO (Diesel Oil), such as temperature, viscosity or the size of the DO tank, will command to upgrade of some vessels to comply with the new rules. This will also generate extra costs.

As a consequence :

  • CMA CGM will implement a Low Sulphur Surcharge as from January 1st, 2015.
  • Our experts keep on working on technical innovations to comply with the Low Sulphur Fuel (LSF) regulation.

Click here to download CMA CGM customer advisory


Click here to display the amounts of the "Low Sulphur" surcharge available on our Charges Finder tool.