New superyachts cruising in North America and the Caribbean will have to comply with a new emissions limit on NOx emissions from next year

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is cracking down on superyacht NOx emissions, with a new limit due to be imposed next year.

The new Tier III limit on NOx emissions is 74% lower than the outgoing Tier II and will apply to all new vessels built from January 1 2016 that operate in North American or Caribbean waters.

This is likely to hit the superyacht industry hardest, as the limit only applies to recreational vessels that measure more than 24m in length, weigh more than 500 tonnes, and have engines with a total power output in excess of 130KW (excluding emergency back-ups).

And with the widespread trend towards driving down gross tonnage, the IMO has stipulated that the weight limit will be removed from the regulations in 2021.

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Peter van der Heijden, managing director at NPS Diesel, told Yachting Pages: “Many technologies already comply with PM (soot) and NOx regulations, and the marine industry has fallen behind, it is the last in the row.”

He added that such restrictions are likely to be applied to the Mediterranean within the next twelve months, which could drive up costs for the big yards.

According to Mr van der Heijden, potential ways to comply with the latest NOx emissions include using advanced no-soot diesel filters that have been widespread in the automotive industry for many years now.

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