New regulation from IMO will mean a drastic increase in transport costs for business community in Northern Europe, and especially for base industries. The decision is likely to have "disastrous effects" for Swedish forest industry according to the organization Swedish forest industry.
In October 2008, the IMO (International Maritime Organization) adopted tighter limit values for sulphur content of marine fuels. The new regulations mean that the limit value for sulphur in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel (so-called sulphur control areas or Sulphur Emission Control Areas [SECA]) is finally lowered to 0.1% by weight in 2015 and globally to 0.5% by weight in the year 2020 or, depending on fuel supply, at the latest by 2025.
The requirements are designed to Northern Europe suffer from significantly higher standards than the rest of the world and EU, which implies a strong distortion of competition. An analysis made by the Maritime Administration after the decision has been taken has proven to large social costs, plus a limited environmental benefit of these enhanced requirements.
At present, the maximum permitted sulphur content in marine fuel is 4.5% by weight. As of 2012, this limit is cut to 3.5% by weight and, as of 2020, to 0.5% by weight.
But the decision is controversial.
- "The decision from IMO is likely to have disastrous effects for the Swedish forest industry. All information about how such a decision could come in without prior impact assessment and how it is anchored is welcome, "said Forest Industries chief executive Marie S. Arwidson.
The Social Democrat MP Hans Stenberg made a notification on 10 March to the Swedish constitutional committee (KU) . The Constitutional Committee has the task of reviewing government and the work of the ministers. A notification to the Committee on the Constitution means that the minister's work are examined to see whether the Minister acted correctly. Mr Stenberg lifts in the notification issues such things as how the government handled the case and how the parliament have been informed before the decision.