Rate this article:  

On 1 July 2015 measures to regulate the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from ships using EU ports entered into force. By 31 August 2017 owners and operators of ships trading within the EU must have prepared and submitted a proposed monitoring plan for verification.


The EU has estimated that emissions from the global shipping industry amount to around one billion tonnes a year, accounting for three per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and four per cent of the EU's total emissions. In June 2013 the European Commission (EC) set out a three-step for reducing maritime GHG emissions:

  • MRV of CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports
  • GHG reduction targets for the maritime transport sector
  • Further actions, including global market-based measures, in the medium to long term.

The EU Regulation relating to MRV of CO2 emissions from maritime transport (2015/757), relates to the first step of the strategy, which should be fully implemented within the EU by 30 June 2019. It is hoped these MRV measures will contribute to building an international system to help reduce maritime CO2 emissions.

Our previous Gard Alert from October 2013 relating to CO2 emission disclosure requirements already in force in France covers more of the background for the EU Regulation.


Applies to ships above 5,000 gross tonnes, regardless of flag, calling at EU ports whether incoming, outgoing or intra-EU voyages.


  • Ships will have to monitor their CO2 emissions, distances travelled, and cargo carried. 
  • The data must be independently verified and reported annually to the ship's flag state and to the EC.
  • Ships must carry a document of compliance (DOC) which will be subject to inspection by EU Member States. There will be penalties for infringements.

Timetable for compliance

31 August 2017:

Prepare and submit proposed monitoring plan for verification.

1 January 2018:

Commence per-voyage monitoring of CO2 emissions.

30 April 2019:

Submission of verified emissions report to be submitted to the EU and the flag state and on an annual basis thereafter.

30 June 2019:

Vessels must   carry a valid DOC confirming compliance with the Regulation for the relevant reporting period, which must be made available for inspection at EU ports.

Further information can be found on the Climate Action section of the EC’s website.