Emissions Trading System and Its Impact on the EU MRV

Aug 30, 2023 | Blog

As a result of increased environmental restrictions focusing on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the maritime industry is quickly changing. Since the launch of the EU MRV, IMO DCS, CII, and EEXI, the EU has enacted stricter regulations and reporting standards.

Emissions Trading System (ETS)

According to the European Commission, the ETS represents a vital move towards regulating ship carbon emissions. It operates on the principle of “cap and trade”, where a limit is set on the total amount of specific greenhouse gases that companies can emit. The goal is to reduce the limit progressively to drive down overall emissions. Those who emit less than their quota can sell their surplus credits, providing an economic incentive to reduce emissions.

The maritime sector, accountable for nearly 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, will be part of the ETS starting 2024. This action signals a clear intention to drive the industry towards reducing its carbon footprint.

Read more: How to create a data management culture for true sustainability

Key Provisions of the Maritime ETS

By 30th September 2025, shipping companies are required to allocate their initial ETS allowances for the emissions they declared in 2024.

The proportion of emissions covered by these allowances will increase yearly:

  • 2025: Emission allowances must cover 40% of 2024 emissions.
  • 2026: Emission allowances must cover 70% of 2025 emissions.
  • 2027 onwards: Emission allowances must cover 100% of declared emissions.

Which vessels fall under the EU ETS Directive?

  • Starting 2024: Both cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage (GT) of 5000 or more.
  • Starting 2027: Offshore vessels with a gross tonnage (GT) of 5000 or more.

ETS Implementation and guidelines

The European Comission is on the process of creating the implementation guidelines for the ETS in the Maritime. They expect to have defined all the necessary rules, templates, and procedures to ensure the good functioning of the system from 1 January 2024.

The benefits of the Emissions Trading System in the Maritime Industry

This legislation promotes more transparency in emissions reporting in the Maritime and creates a solid frame for the ETS by establishing a robust and reliable emissions inventory. Additionally, it aims to encourage shipping companies to adopt energy-efficient technologies and carbon reduction strategies.

Emissions Trading System and its Impact on EU MRV Reporting

The introduction of the ETS will significantly affect the MRV reporting. The ETS leans heavily on the accurate reporting and verification mechanisms of the MRV, ensuring emissions data is reliable, traceable, and verifiable. It will be imperative to ensure data quality in the reporting to ensure the trading system works based on reliable information.

The roadmap of regulations applications states that the EU MRV and EU ETS will impact all vessels above 400 GT. Which will cover the majority of assets.

As firms adjust to these protocols, we expect significant cuts in greenhouse gases, aligning the maritime more closely with the Paris Agreement’s climate targets. Moreover, such advancements may guide environmental policies elsewhere, possibly paving the way for stronger worldwide action against maritime emissions.

Read more: MRV & DCS Regulation: Creating Opportunity From Obligation


Incorporating the maritime sector into the EU ETS is a significant advancement in environmental legislation. While achieving sustainability can be intricate, these measures offer a clear path to a more eco-friendly maritime future. As we venture into these new areas, the dedication of every stakeholder is essential for meeting our mutual environmental objectives. The EU’s actions underline a dedicated effort to frame a solid strategy for maritime decarbonization.

While the industry is still adapting to the new emissions regulations, it is essential to implement data integration systems that ensure data accuracy, which remains crucial for these initiatives’ success.

Opsealog and Jackson Offshore Renew Contract for Fleet Digitalization

Image: Jackson Offshore Marseille, 16th April 2024 –Opsealog, a provider of data integration and analysis services for the maritime and offshore industry, announced today the extension of its partnership contract with Jackson Offshore Operators (JOO), a shipowner...

Engine Utilization Optimization: A Path to Cost and Emission Reduction in Vessel Operations

Discover how an Oil & Gas operator from the Middle East leveraged Opsealog’s solutions and achieved fuel consumption savings, minimized GHG emissions, and reduced maintenance requirements by optimizing engine utilization. Driving Maritime Excellence: At Opsealog,...

7 Underestimated Aspects of Fleet Digitalization

In the ever-evolving landscape of maritime operations, fleet digitalization has become a cornerstone for efficiency, safety, and sustainability. While many aspects of this transformative technology are widely acknowledged, several underestimated facts hold significant...

Cleaner Tech & Sustainability: Key to Shipping Decarbonization

The maritime industry stands at the nexus of global trade and environmental stewardship. Shipping companies, policymakers, and seafarers alike are recognizing the pressing need to pivot towards sustainable practices to preserve our planet's health. Committing to...

A closer Look at Monitoring and Reporting on Cable-Laying vessels.

From cargo ships to offshore support vessels (OSVs), the Maritime’s operational landscape is vast and complex. With vessels navigating infinite expanses, there is a growing need for efficient systems to collect, analyze, and report data accurately. Challenges include...

Navigating Vessel Optimization: Beyond Fuel, Exploring Underestimated Aspects in Data-Driven Strategies.

The pursuit of optimization in the OSV sector has long been centered on reducing fuel consumption and, in turn, greenhouse gas emissions. However, the digital revolution is reshaping this perspective, unveiling new dimensions of operational efficiency that go beyond...

Optimizing Ship Performance: Five Essential Steps to Harnessing Your Vessel’s Data in the Coming Year

Whilst maritime decarbonization targets are ambitious and will require action in the short term, the encouraging news is that there are clear steps that we can take today that will deliver immediate and significant fuel savings in OSV operations. What is more, these...

Key trends that defined the use of maritime data in 2023 – and what to expect in 2024

As OSV markets continued to recover after challenging years, progress in digitalizing the sector accelerated in 2023, with industry players realizing the importance of implementing data-driven solutions to track fuel consumption, emissions, and operational patterns....

Mooring Buoys and ship fuel efficiency

The maritime industry is a complex and challenging field, requiring both precision and innovation to achieve success. In this article, we will delve into the often-overlooked benefits of mooring buoys, which significantly reduce fuel consumption for Offshore Support...

Marine Biofuels: How data can support its implementation

Following our participation in the Blue Med Days in Marseille, it became evident that biofuels are getting increased attention in the maritime sector. With discussions around this topic intensifying, it's clear that biofuels can potentially play an important role in...