MARPOL Annex VI - Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

Maritime NZ is working to design and implement Marine Protection Rules to give effect to MARPOL Annex VI - Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

Update: New Zealand’s accession to MARPOL Annex VI expected in February/March 2022

The Government had originally signalled that New Zealand would become a party to MARPOL Annex VI by the end of 2021, but this has been delayed due to COVID-19 disruptions. We now expect New Zealand will become a party to MARPOL Annex VI in February/March 2022.

MARPOL Annex VI will come into effect in New Zealand three months after accession. This means that MARPOL Annex VI requirements will start to apply to ship operators from May/June 2022. Maritime New Zealand will provide detailed guidance to the shipping industry about the MARPOL Annex VI requirements including the timing of new survey and certification obligations.

For more information, please see the Ministry of Transport’s MARPOL Annex VI webpage.

MARPOL Annex VI - Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

Public consultation on the proposed Marine Protection Rule Part 199: Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (the proposed rules) closed on 4 August 2021.

The proposed rules to bring MARPOL Annex VI into effect will now be reviewed in light of the submissions received and refined prior to being presented to the Minister of Transport, Hon. Michael Woods. For anyone interested, the consultation document and the proposed rules are still available to view.

View closed consultation


Maritime NZ is working to design and implement Marine Protection Rules to give effect to MARPOL Annex VI - Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships.

MARPOL Annex VI is the part of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) Marine Pollution Convention that seeks to address:

  • the impact of air pollution from shipping activities on human health and the environment
  • the impact of emissions from shipping activities on climate change and ozone layer depletion.

You can find IMO information about Annex VI here.

The government has recently passed amendments to the Maritime Transport Act to enable implementation of Annex VI. These amendments allow Marine Protection Rules to be made to bring the Annex VI requirements into effect for the maritime industry. The draft Marine Protection Rules part 199: Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships were consulted on in the middle of 2021. It is planned they will come into effect in the middle of 2022 three months after NZ accedes to Annex VI.

Maritime NZ and the Ministry of Transport are working in collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, who are doing related policy work on the regulation of exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) in coastal areas. The Ministry for the Environment administers the Resource Management Act, which regulates discharges into the coastal marine environment. You can find Ministry for the Environment guidance on the use of scrubbers here.

We will be adding further information to this web page as the rules development and implementation progresses.

Annex VI requirements

The legal obligations which will be imposed on New Zealand by Annex VI include: Limit of 0.5% sulphur fuels on all ships, or alternative measures such as installation of engine exhaust scrubbers to filter sulphur dioxide emissions.

Annex VI - Sulphur oxides[PDF: 206kB, 1 page]

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) controls for marine diesel engines with a power output of 130 KW or more, on vessels built on or after 1 January 2000, or vessels which have undergone significant conversions since that date.

Annex VI - Nitrogen oxides[PDF: 314kB, 1 page]

Energy efficiency requirements, including the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) and the Energy Efficiency Design index (EEDI). More specific energy efficiency requirements aimed at a phased reduction of carbon emissions will be adopted by 2023.

Annex VI - Energy efficiencies[PDF: 404kB, 1 page]

Controls on emissions of ozone-depleting substances (e.g. refrigerants, firefighting systems).

Annex VI - Ozone-depleting substances[PDF: 304kB, 1 page]

Controls on the emission of volatile organic compounds from cargo (e.g. oil vapour).

Annex VI - Volatile organic compounds[PDF: 231kB, 1 page]

Requirements for shipboard incinerators installed on or after 1 January 2000 to meet specified performance standards and be operated by trained personnel. In addition, the incineration of certain materials is prohibited.

Annex VI - Shipboard incinerators[PDF: 204kB, 1 page]

Controls on fuel composition and quality.

Annex VI - Fuel composition and quality[PDF: 210kB, 1 page]

Requirements for port reception facilities for wastes from ships related to emissions covered by Annex VI.

Annex VI - Port reception facilities for wastes[PDF: 253kB, 1 page]

A requirement for New Zealand to enforce compliance with the obligations and implement survey and certification procedures.

Annex VI - Survey and Certification [PDF: 292kB, 1 page]

How will Annex VI affect New Zealand ships and the shipping industry?

Ships travelling internationally, including New Zealand flagged ships, already have to comply with Annex VI, but there will be a need to transition from the current statements of compliance to the formal Annex VI certification regime.

There will also be impacts on ports, for example the provision of waste reception facilities.

There are some sections of Annex VI where states can choose how to apply the requirements, especially in relation to ships that only travel domestically. The Ministry of Transport and Maritime NZ will consult with industry and other stakeholders about these discretionary areas.

Engagement and consultation

Maritime NZ will engage with stakeholders as early as possible, to ensure they understand the requirements and have the opportunity to actively participate in the rules process. We also need to understand the impacts on them and their views on how Annex VI can be implemented.

We are kicking off initial engagement with industry via a series of roundtables run jointly with the Ministry of Transport, which started in September 2020. This will be followed by formal consultation on draft Marine Protection Rules in mid-2021, and further engagement in the lead-up to implementation.

We will also be engaging with Treaty partners, and with community, health and environmental groups with an interest in the local and regional effects of air pollution.

Industry roundtable 1: Shipping, fisheries and fuel industries 22 September 2020

Industry roundtable 1: Presentation[PDF: 516kB, 28 pages]

Industry roundtable 1: Notes of discussion[PDF: 417kB, 4 pages]

Industry roundtable 2: Ports and harbourmasters 23 September 2020

Industry roundtable 2: Presentation[PDF: 516kB, 28 pages]

Industry roundtable 2: Notes of discussion[PDF: 362kB, 4 pages]

Industry Roundtable 3: Shipboard Incineration 13 November 2020

Industry roundtable 3: Presentation[PDF: 760kB, 11 pages]

Industry roundtable 3: Notes of discussion[PDF: 246kB, 2 pages]

Industry Roundtable 4: Exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) 16 November 2020

Industry roundtable 4: Presentation[PDF: 1.6MB, 18 pages]

Industry roundtable 4: Notes of discussion[PDF: 169kB, 4 pages]

Industry Roundtable 5: Energy efficiency – reducing carbon emissions 3 December 2020

Industry roundtable 5: Presentation[PDF: 1.5MB, 13 pages]

Industry roundtable 5: Notes of discussion[PDF: 244kB, 3 pages]

Industry Roundtable 6: Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) 7 December 2020

Industry roundtable 6: Presentation[PDF: 977kB, 14 pages]

Industry roundtable 6: Notes of discussion[PDF: 114kB, 2 pages]

Industry Roundtable 7: Volatile organic compounds, ozone depleting substances and port reception facilities 14 December 2020

Industry roundtable 7: Presentation[PDF: 2.07MB, 23 pages]

Industry roundtable 7: Notes of discussion[PDF: 254kB, 2 pages]

Industry Roundtable 8: Fuel oil quality, availability and supply chain 15 December 2020

Industry roundtable 8: Presentation[PDF: 1.04MB, 12 pages]

Industry roundtable 8: Notes of discussion[PDF: 251kB, 3 pages]

Contact us

If you have comments, questions, or would like to be included on the mailing list for engagement and consultation, please contact us at