ship emission

What does the EU MRV mean for shipowners?

It’s nearly impossible to effect real change without first building a comprehensive picture your starting point.

The European Union (EU) has taken a particularly proactive approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, targeting a wide swath of sectors with its proposed “Fit for 55” package. For European shipping, the first step in addressing emissions is to monitor, verify and report emissions to later minimize future GHG output. The requirements for doing so are laid out in the European Union Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Regulation (EU MRV), which forms the backbone of marine emissions reporting.

What is the EU MRV?

EU Regulation 2015/757, better known as the EU MRV, concerns the monitoring, verification and reporting of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. Entering into force in July 2015, the EU MRV became mandatory in 2017. Its goal is help authorities track fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from EU shipping activities. Data gathered for the EU MRV underpins other GHG monitoring and reduction initiatives, and will enable shipowners to collect allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Which vessels does the EU MRV apply to?

The EU MRV is applicable to commercial vessels of more than 5000 GT calling at EU ports. This includes both ships traveling between EU ports (intra-EU) and those traveling to or from ports outside the EU (extra-EU).

How is the EU MRV different from the IMO DCS?

The International Maritime Organization Data Collection System (IMO DCS) is the IMO’s emissions monitoring and reporting scheme. Adopted in 2016, it came into force in 2019, enabling the IMO to directly collect emissions data from vessels over 5,000 GT. It runs in parallel with the EU MRV, but the two systems have different scopes and requirements.

  • The IMO DCS concerns global shipping emissions, while the EU MRV only requires data from vessels traveling to, from, or within EU waters
  • The IMO DCS maintains ship anonymity when publishing reports, whereas the EU MRV publishes annual aggregated data that identifies individual vessels
  • The IMO DCS requires shipowners to develop a Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Data Collection Plan as part of their Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). The EU MRV has a separate procedure for developing emissions monitoring plans.
  • As a statutory requirement, IMO DCS plans are subject to flag administration approval and must be verified by a recognized organization. In contrast, the EU MRV requires verification from a legal entity with accreditation from EU-recognized national accreditation bodies.

EU authorities are currently considering aligning the two schemes, with a focus on extending the EU MRV’s scope to include shipping in the EU ETS.

Laurent Leblanc, Bureau Veritas Senior Vice- President, Technical & Operations

Senior Vice President, Technical & Operations

Bureau Veritas M&O

Complying with the EU MRV is a crucial first step to reducing ships’ environmental footprint, enabling operators to establish a baseline for emissions. As an accredited classification society, Bureau Veritas can support shipowners along the road to compliance, providing practical advice and verifying monitoring and reporting plans.

What is an EU MRV monitoring plan?

Ships calling at EU ports are required to have a verified monitoring plan onboard. This plan considers the specific design, technical performance and emission sources of individual ships, and accounts for uncertainty in CO2 monitoring and reporting. Owners must submit an EU MRV monitoring plan for every ship which has to be assessed by an accredited EU MRV verifier.

Monitoring plans are required to identify ships by name, type and company, and provide contact details for ship owners or operators. They must provide a detailed description of CO2 emission sources (e.g., main engines, auxiliary engines, gas turbines, boilers), and identify all fuels consumed onboard. Crucially, monitoring plans must indicate the method used for monitoring and reporting on CO2 emissions. This includes defining procedures for measuring fuel consumption, identifying emission factors for all fuel types, and ensuring lists of emission sources are regularly updated.

As EU MRV monitoring plans strive to collect complete data sets, operators are required to:

  • Log all voyages,
  • Record activity data from each voyage falling under EU MRV’s scope
  • Submit an aggregated annual report of all EU MRV voyages performed within a monitored year

How can shipowners comply with the EU MRV?

Classification societies can help ship owners and operators comply with the EU MRV, offering a thorough understanding of regulations and environmental performance services. As an accredited EU MRV verifier[1] Bureau Veritas can provide services required by EU MRV regulation, including:

  • EU MRV monitoring plan assessment,
  • Annual EU MRV report verification
  • Issuance of documents confirming compliance

Bureau Veritas also provides digital tools that enable ship owners and operators to easily meet EU MRV standards. Our application, VeriStar Green, provides a secure, cloud-based platform for reporting CO2 emissions for the EU MRV and fuel consumption for the IMO DCS. It simplifies document collection, review and verification, helping shipowners comply with both regulations.

Successfully decarbonizing the marine industry will require shipowners to have a clear idea of their sustainability baseline, assessing and reporting on vessel emissions. Bureau Veritas helps shipping companies monitor and report on their fuel consumption and GHG emissions, supporting compliance with EU MRV and IMO DCS requirements. No matter a vessel’s starting point, our experts can evaluate its environmental impact, then help owners reduce those numbers, taking a greener approach to shipping.


[1]Bureau Veritas Certification France is an accredited entity for EU MRV activities, holding ISO 14065 certification. BV M&O performs its EU MRV activities as part of this organization.