The Official Journal of the European Union has today published Regulation 2023/1805 regarding the use of renewable fuels and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport (FuelEU Maritime regulation), and Regulation 2023/1804 concerning the establishment of infrastructure for alternative fuels (AFIR regulation).

The Fuel EU Maritime regulation aims to promote the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels and alternative energy sources in maritime transport throughout the Union.

To achieve this, it sets a limit on the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from the energy used on board, which becomes stricter over time. The reference carbon intensity is set at 91.16 grCO2 equivalent/MJ and must be reduced by at least:


  • From January 1, 2025 2%
  • From January 1, 2030 6%
  • From January 1, 2035 14.5%
  • From January 1, 2040 31%
  • From January 1, 2045 62%
  • From January 1, 2050 80%

When calculating the GHG intensity, CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions from well to wake (WtW) will be taken into account. Vessels exceeding the set limit will face an economic penalty. However, vessels with a deficit compared to the reference value may offset balances in line with those of other surplus vessels or borrow part of their surplus from the following year, subject to certain conditions.

Furthermore, it establishes the requirement that, from 2030 onwards, passenger and container ships connect to the port’s electrical grid during their calls, except for certain justified reasons. This aligns with the requirements of the AFIR Regulation concerning alternative fuel infrastructure.

The regulation will apply from January 1, 2025, to ships of 5,000 GT or more transporting passengers or goods for commercial purposes with regard to:

  • 100% of the energy used in European ports.
  • 100% of the energy used on voyages between European ports.
  • 50% of the energy used on voyages to or from an outermost region.
  • 50% of the energy used on extra-European voyages.

Exemptions are provided until December 31, 2029, for:

  • Passenger ships, other than cruises, on coastal voyages to islands with fewer than 200,000 permanent residents. For example, a route between Valencia and Ibiza.
  • Inter-island voyages in outermost regions and stays in those ports. For example, voyages between ports in the Canary Islands.
  • Passenger ships undertaking transnational voyages under public service obligations or public service contracts where one of the countries has no land border with any other Member State. For example, voyages between Cyprus and Greece.
  • Passenger ships sailing under public service contracts or public service obligations between mainland ports and their islands. In Spain, Ceuta and Melilla are also included.

Provisions are also included to prevent carbon leakage at third-country container transshipment ports, as well as special treatment for ice-classed ships and those navigating in icy waters.

To encourage the use of non-biological origin renewable fuels (NBRF, in English), a multiplicative factor of 2 has been introduced in the calculation of GHG intensity until December 31, 2033.

On the other hand, if the share of these NBRF used on board is less than 1% in the 2031 reporting period, a mandatory minimum quota of 2% will apply from January 1, 2034.

Funds obtained through penalties for non-compliance will be managed by the States, which must allocate them to the decarbonization of maritime transport.

A review of the regulation will be considered in case the IMO implements a similar measure.

The AFIR Regulation, on the other hand, aims to ensure the availability and ease of use of a dense and widespread network of infrastructure for alternative fuels throughout the EU.

With regard to port obligations, the provisions regarding shore-side electricity supply (OPS) in ports have been aligned with the FuelEU Maritime Regulation. By January 1, 2030, ports on the TEN-T network must have OPS for the cases presented in the table below.

Ships type Minimum Annual Calls

(average of the last 3 years)

Percentage of annual calls to be served with OPS
Container ships > 5,000 GT > 100 > 90%
Ro-pax and NGV (passenger) > 5,000 GT > 40 > 90%
Buques de pasaje > 5.000 GT > 25 > 90%

For the purpose of determining the total number of calls, several will not be considered:

  • Calls < 2 hours.
  • Ships equipped with zero-emission technologies in port.
  • Unforeseen calls due to ship safety risk.
  • Use of onboard-generated energy due to port electrical grid risk or instability.

When the port is located in a place without a connection to the mainland electrical grid (islands) or a neighboring country (outermost regions or Ceuta and Melilla), it will not have the obligation to meet the above requirements until such a connection is completed or there is sufficient local electricity generation capacity from non-fossil sources to cover the needs of that territory.

Regarding alternative fuels, Member States will designate, in their national action frameworks, the ports of the core TEN-T network that will have liquefied methane supply points, taking into account port development, existing liquefied methane supply points, and the real market demand, both short and long term, and their evolution. Liquefied methane includes LNG, liquefied biogas, synthetic liquefied methane, and blends of these fuels.

Before January 1, 2025, these ports will have an adequate number of liquefied methane supply points for ships to travel throughout the core network. Additionally, by January 1, 2025, Member States will submit to the Commission a national action framework assessing planned initiatives for deploying infrastructure for ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen in ports.

Both regulations will enter into force 20 days after their publication.

For more information contact with: Maruxa Heras (