Press release

Shipping oberserves air pollution control regulations Published on 06 March 2020

3700 ships – 9 infringements

Shipping observes air Pollution control regulations

As a rule, most of the vessels calling at Bremerhaven and Bremen abide by the air pollution control regulations. This was revealed by an evaluation of the data collected in the course of 2019. In July 2017, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) installed an air monitoring station at the northern end of the container terminal in Bremerhaven with the support of bremenports. The pilot project measures the chemical composition of the exhaust gas plumes of passing ships. The results are used to help prosecute infringements of the obligation to use low-sulphur marine fuels.  The system changed over from the pilot phase to regular operation in autumn 2018.
In 2019, a total of 3697 exhaust gas plumes were analysed at the BSH measuring system in Bremerhaven. A suspiciously high sulphur component was found in 9 exhaust gas plumes, i.e. 0.24%. These figures are comparable with the data obtained at the other BSH measuring stations in Wedel (> 99%) and Kiel (98.7%).
Amongst other things, the measuring device can identify the concentration of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide in the ships’ exhaust gas plumes. The measured values are analysed automatically. If a conspicuously high sulphur content can be clearly allocated to a certain vessel, a report is automatically sent to the prosecuting authorities normally one or two hours after the ship has passed the control point.
All reports are sent to the Port State Control (PSC), the river police in Brake, Bremen and Bremerhaven. Reports for outbound vessels are also sent to the river police in Hamburg.
The fuel of ships entering the port is normally inspected by the river police. However, it is not possible to carry out prompt inspection of the fuels of outbound vessels.
Several of the reported infringements have been confirmed since the measurements first began. The BSH operates similar measuring stations in Wedel on the River Elbe and in Kiel, at the end of Kiel Fjord. The results obtained from the measurements of vessels which pass by more than one of these stations confirm the comparability of the data obtained from the three measuring stations. The results are also comparable with international measurements performed in Rotterdam, the Great Belt and Öresund Bridge and with aircraft measurements in Belgium.


Holger Bruns Press officer

bremenports GmbH & Co. KG

+49 471 309 01-103
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