FuelEU Maritime: Understanding the Requirements for Ships Trading in the EU/EEA

FuelEU Maritime: How to prepare for compliance

FuelEU Maritime sets requirements on the well-to-wake GHG intensity of energy used for ships trading in the EU/EEA from January 1, 2025. The first step is to prepare and submit a monitoring plan to an accredited verifier by December 31, 2024. This statutory news provides you with more details on what you need to prepare.

Summary of the FuelEU Maritime GHG intensity requirements

From January 1, 2025, for ships trading in or to/from the EU/ EEA irrespective of flag, the annual average GHG intensity of energy used on board needs to be below a defined level. The GHG intensity is measured as GHG emissions per energy unit (gCO2e/MJ) and includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

In addition to emissions from energy use on board the ship, GHG emissions are calculated in a well-to-wake perspective, including emissions related to the extraction, cultivation, production and transport of fuel. The regulation includes provisions for crediting ships using wind-assisted propulsion.

The GHG intensity requirements are set as a percentage reduction relative to a 2020 reference value of 91.16 gCO2e/MJ. The percentage reduction requirement increases gradually every five years to 2050 – meaning, for example, that it stays at 2% from 2025 to 2029.

Voyages, scope

The FuelEU Maritime GHG intensity requirements apply to 100% of energy used on voyages and port calls within the EU/ EEA, and 50% of energy used on voyages into or out of the EU/EEA. To avoid evasive behaviour, container ships stopping in transshipment ports outside the EU/EEA, but less than 300 nautical miles from an EU/EEA port, need to include 50% of the energy for the voyage to that port as well, rather than only the short leg from the transshipment port.

The GHG intensity requirements apply to ships above 5,000 GT transporting cargo or passengers for commercial purposes. It does not apply to offshore ships. The scope could change as part of the scheduled review by the end of 2027.

FuelEU Maritime also sets requirements on the use of shore power for container and passenger ships from 2030. More details on this part of the regulation can be found in the References.

Compliance process

Responsible shipping company

The requirements apply to the shipping company, which is the shipowner or any other organization or person, such as the manager or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for the operation of the ship, including duties and responsibilities imposed by the ISM Code.

This implies that the responsible company for a ship may not be the same for EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime. Each responsible company will need to be registered with an administering state, which is the same as the Administering Authority for EU ETS compliance.

In the event of a change of company, the shipping company has the responsibility—on December 31 of any given year—for compliance for the whole calendar year. However, previous companies are required to report and verify energy use and emissions as soon as possible after the changeover.

Pooling of compliance

FuelEU Maritime includes the option to attain compliance across a fleet of ships, even if they belong to different companies. This means that each individual ship does not need to achieve the required GHG intensity but can rely on other ships to achieve a combined level of GHG intensity below the requirement.

Banking and borrowing of compliance surplus

If a ship has an average GHG intensity below the requirement, the surplus emission amount (compliance surplus) can be banked for use in the subsequent compliance period. Similarly, a ship can borrow advance compliance surplus from a subsequent period, limited to 2% and only for two consecutive periods, and with a 10% penalty on the borrowed compliance surplus for the subsequent period.


Ships that have a higher GHG intensity than the requirement must pay a penalty corresponding to its compliance deficit, measured as the difference between the required and actual GHG intensity, multiplied by the energy use. The penalty is progressively increased if the ship has a compliance deficit for two or more consecutive reporting periods. The compliance deficit is calculated into energy based on the actual GHG intensity of the ship, applying a penalty of €2,400 per tonne VLFSO energy equivalent, or about €58.50 per GJ of non-compliant energy use. Hence, the penalties can be significant.

Reporting and verification

The energy use and emissions will be reported and verified through a scheme which is separate from the existing EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system. However, elements from the MRV regulation can be reused for the purpose of the FuelEU Maritime regulation.

By August 31, 2024, the FuelEU Maritime Monitoring Plan needs to be submitted to a verifier (such as DNV), describing the method for monitoring and reporting of the data required under this regulation. This plan comes in addition to the current MRV Monitoring Plan, but part of it can be reused.

Vessels trading in the EU/EEA countries shall have the approved FuelEU Maritime Monitoring Plan on board before 1 January 2025.

How to start FuelEU Maritime preparations

The deadline of 31 August is approaching fast, and early preparation is strongly recommended!

Step 1: Prepare your FuelEU Maritime Monitoring Plan, with complementing documentation.

DNV’s existing EU MRV customers will be able to base this plan on their verified MRV plans.

Step 2: Copy the plans of other vessels in your fleet.

You will also be able to copy all the sections of the FuelEU Maritime Monitoring Plan between the vessels in your fleet, like the MRV Monitoring Plan online form, but in an extended way.

Step 3: Submit the plans to DNV for verification after EU documents are published.

Submitting the monitoring plans to DNV for verification will not be possible until the official EU documents have been published, scheduled for the end of Q2 2024. This would leave July and August for the submission of the monitoring plans to the verifier. DNV will notify its customers when the submission can be performed.

Other useful information about the preparation of FuelEU Maritime:

Requirements for providing new documents relating to the FuelEU Monitoring Plan verification highly depend on the ship type:

  1. For passenger/container vessels, some documentation related to onshore power supply equipment will be required.
  2. If your vessels do have any other equipment like fuel cells, zero-emissions technology or wind-assisted propulsion installed on board, documentation to confirm that would also be required before plan verification.

The companies shall also specify the established total electrical power demand of the ship at berth. By default, this would be based on the main engine’s (ME) power, but it can also be taken from the ship’s electrical load balance/study. These documents would also have to be provided by non-DNV-classed vessels if the non-default option is chosen.

The Continuous Synopsis Record and Safety Management Certificate of the vessel might also be required to confirm the company in charge of the vessel.

Companies must also complement the control system and data gap procedures to include the additional data to be monitored and reported for the purpose of the FuelEU Maritime regulation. The FuelEU Monitoring Plan online form will therefore also contain an outline of the overall control system. This new requirement, coming from both the FuelEU Maritime regulation and the revised MRV regulation, states that companies need to describe their data flow processes, from emissions measurement to data compilation. Furthermore, they need to describe the potential impact and probability of incidents which may happen at each step and define the control activities that mitigate the risk such incidents might have.

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