Ultra-Low Emission Vessels
Limiting harmful emissions from ships is a crucial step for minimizing the marine industry’s overall impact on the environment, and one increasingly supported by national and international regulations. For ships operating in heavily populated areas, where air quality is a growing concern, minimizing airborne emissions is particularly urgent.
Bureau Veritas’ Ultra-Low Emission Vessels (ULEV) notation is for ships that go beyond existing MARPOL requirements for lowering emissions, fitting advanced air emission control technology onboard. This voluntary notation enables ship owners and operators to distinguish their fleets by demonstrating their commitment to environmental protection and performance.
Both newbuilds and in-service vessels of all types are eligible to be assessed for and receive an ULEV notation. All onboard internal combustion engines are considered, excluding those used for emergencies only or with power capacity less than or equal to 19 kW.
The ULEV notation accounts for a number of gaseous pollutants, including hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate pollutants, thereby addressing overall air quality.
In collaboration with engine and after-treatment system manufacturers, ship managers must provide relevant documentation for engine and after-treatment system specifications. After undergoing emissions measurement testing, engines and after-treatment systems are subject to a conformity check to ensure compliance with emissions limits. Finally, a surveyor conducts an onboard inspection to ensure compliance with relevant documentation and installation instructions.
To develop the ULEV notation, Bureau Veritas collaborated with multiple industry players, adapting the European Commission’s Stage V policy for the marine industry. An ULEV notation proves that vessels have exceeded existing MARPOL requirements for pollutant emissions, helping ship owners demonstrate their green credentials and prepare for stricter legislation.