There are global concerns over the potential impacts of scrubber contaminants on the marine environment. This page has the current guidance on the use of these systems in New Zealand.
The Ministry for the Environment supports the use of precaution by ships operating scrubbers in New Zealand, while we gather further information on the use of these systems and their potential risks.
While this guidance is non-statutory, we request that all ships utilising exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS or “scrubbers”) adhere to the following good practices when operating within New Zealand’s territorial sea:
- Operate closed loop scrubbers in zero discharge mode and retain any waste on board until it can be disposed of at the next available port reception facility
- Avoid discharging scrubber washwater within the 12 nautical mile coastal marine area
- If switching to compliant fuel (low sulphur fuel oil), do so outside the 12 nautical mile coastal marine area.
In addition, ships should follow any measures advised by the relevant port and regional authorities.
Discharges from exhaust gas cleaning systems on ships | Ministry for the Environment (New Zealand risk assessment)
The new Annex VI sulphur limit [International Maritime Organisation website]
2021 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (PDF, 447 KB) [International Maritime Organisation website]
Guidance on the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) for ports, regional authorities and ships in New Zealand waters
© Ministry for the Environment