In line with the ambition to make the shipping industry more environmentally friendly and to reduce harmful air emissions, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO - the regulatory authority for international shipping) has set 1 January 2020 as the implementation date for the EU Directive EU 2016/802, for a significant reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships. The new cap of 0.5% sulphur in the fuel or equivalent solutions will mean a higher cost of compliance for all ferry operators from 1 January 2020. The reductions in sulphur oxides emissions resulting from the lower global sulphur limit are expected to have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and human health.
Irish Ferries have introduced an Environmental charge that contributes to the cost of compliance to meet the 2020 sulphur directive. The fee is a fixed amount as follows (each way):