On July 15, the European Commission published the proposed amendments of the "sulphur directive." Ministers of the EU member states and members of European parliament will begin debates on the directive in the autumn.
The proposal is based on the decision made by the International Maritime Organization IMO in 2008 to set the more stringent limits of sulphur content of the bunker fuel and emissions. The severe consequences it will cause to the North Europe have become clear afterwards.
The dramatic increase in sea freight prices will cause the modal-back shift from the sea transport to roads and will move the industrial investments away from the Northern Europe. It will cause the distortion of the competition and the final environmental benefit could be negative. Technology will partly resolve the problem, but according to the pilot projects of the shipping industry, the technological applications will not be ready to be commercially exploited in 2015.