In its latest statutory alert, Lloyd’s Register is reminding the industry that the North American Emission Control Area for SOx and particulate matter (ECA-SOx) enters into effect on 1 August, 2012. From this date, the same requirements will apply as for the existing Baltic and North Sea ECA-SOx, including the requirements for recording data on entry and exit.

The North American ECA-SOx covers three distinct areas: off the North American Atlantic/Gulf coasts; off the North American Pacific coast; and around certain parts of Hawaii.

It also includes the St Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes and rivers (such as the Mississippi) which are accessed by shipping. The ECA’s exact co-ordinates are contained in the IMO Circular MEPC.1/Circ.723.

Ships operating in or entering the North American ECA-SOx on or after 1 August, 2012, will need to have on board sufficient compliant fuel oil (1.00% m/m maximum sulfur content) and bring it into use as required.

Ships entering the ECA-SOx before this date will need to ensure that compliant fuel oil is brought into use no later than 00:00 hrs on 1 August, 2012. LR recommends that this fuel change-over is recorded in the same way as if the ship was entering an ECA.