The Department and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, played an active role in the development of the Guidelines for the use of scrubbing technology at both European and international level. Ships’ installed scrubbers must be approved in accordance with the Guidelines before operating in UK waters.
Along with other European States, we recognise that more ship owners are installing these systems in order to comply with the 0.5% sulphur cap, and that large numbers of ships using scrubbers in enclosed waters might have an impact on local water quality. This is why we have asked for more evidence from ship owners and industry associations about the content of wash water, and there are a number of ongoing studies being undertaken by the industry on the issue. At this stage, we are not aware of any significant issues which have been found, but we will seek further amendments to the IMO Guidelines if it becomes clear that additional controls are needed.