On 4 December 2015, China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) released an action plan for implementing Ship Emission Control Zones (ECZs) in three key coastal regions: the Yangtze River Delta Region (YRD), the Pearl River Delta Region (PRD) and the Bo Sea Region (also known as the Jingjinji Region). The action plan includes a general target, principles, applicability, geographic boundaries, as well as specific requirements and supporting measures for establishing ECZs. The plan represents one of the deliverables promised in MOT’s five-year (2015–2020) special action plan to control emissions from ships and ports, released in August 2015. Subsequently, on 1 February 2016, MOT released additional information on the early adoption of the Yangtze River Delta Region ECZ with the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission.
According to the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, Phase I fuel regulation in ECZs (5,000 ppm sulfur content fuel for ships at berth) will contribute to a 10% reduction in primary PM2.5 and an 18% reduction in SOX from marine vessels. Phase II fuel regulation in ECZs (5,000 ppm sulfur content fuel for ships entering ECZ regions) will reduce PM2.5 emissions from oceangoing vessels by about 60% and 80% respectively for SOX. According to the MOT, by 2020, SOX and PM emissions from ships in three ECZ regions would be reduced by 65% and 30% respectively in comparison to 2015.