International Maritime Organization: 2023 Maritime Decarbonization

After implementing a sulphur fuel regulation in 2020, the IMO (International Maritime Organization) introduces ,“IMO 2023” to further reduce ocean shipping’s carbon emissions.

This new regulation is part of the initial IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy, which aims to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, and by 70% by 2050 compared with a 2008 baseline level.

IMO 2023 is a technical and operational approach adopting two new measures: The Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index(EEXI) and The Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating scheme.

IMO 2023 regulation is part of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Greenhouse Gas Strategy (GHG), which aims to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 versus the 2008 levels. The IMO 2023 regulation affects both commercial and non-commercial vessels.

It introduces mandatory reductions in carbon emissions for both new and existing ships, using energy efficiency indicators to determine these levels.

The measures include the following:

  • The Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI).
  • The Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating scheme.

To achieve a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2008, shipping companies are required to:

  • The Energy Efficiency Index of Existing Vessels (EEXI): which is based on their technical design such as vessel type, date of creation, size and according to the baseline. Non-compliant vessels will have to upgrade their engines to continue to travel.
  • The Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII): which is annual and scalable to 2024, is a link between GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and the ratio of cargo carried to distance travelled. By 2023, all vessels must have an established CII and will receive a graded     grade from A to E, where A is the best.

Ships with 3 consecutive years of D class or one year of E class will be required to implement a corrective action plan to achieve A, B or C grades. Indeed, the IMO has a target to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030 and 70% by2050. 

  • Have a mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) to optimize the energy efficiency of each vessel: better voyage planning, more frequent cleaning of the ship's underwater parts and propellers, installation of new waste heat recovery systems or installation of a new propulsion system, for example:

    To reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency, companies and vessel operators have several options, including optimizing operations, retrofitting vessels with energy-saving technology and switching to low-carbon fuels.


To comply with IMO requirements, shipping companies will have to assess and bring their vessels into compliance if necessary.

On the one hand, the impacts to be expected are economic with a possible increase in shipping costs to help pay for new technologies and the price of bio fuels. 

On the other hand, organizational impacts such as : 

  • The detention of old vessels for compliance.
  • A potential decrease in capacity due to the reduction in speed.
  • An increase in transit time, with disparities between routes.
  • Disruption of charters due to the reduction in speed to reduce fuel consumption. 

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