International law questions linked to a potential future European Union ‘emission trading scheme’ for shipping are addressed. If such a scheme were to be introduced (which is not yet clear), and if it were designed to cover emissions that have occurred beyond the territorial waters of the Member States or even in other States’ maritime zones (which, in that case, seems likely), it would evoke interesting questions of principle relating to the jurisdiction of States to impose requirements on foreign ships for matters which take place beyond their territory. Different approaches to the question are discussed, starting from the law of the sea, but also including a brief review of other potentially relevant branches of international law. It is concluded that international law does not necessarily prevent the establishment of such a scheme, but places a number of important limitations on its design.
Regional legislation in a field that is traditionally regulated primarily by means of international conventions is bound to create tensions with the related international conventions and with well-established principles of international law. This study assesses how the EU has acted as a flag State, port State and coastal State and measures the trends in this development against the international legal framework. More detailed legal analyses are offered for specific aspects of EU legislation that are considered to be particularly interesting from an international law point of view. The relationship between EU law and international law within the internal EU legal system is also analysed from the specific perspective of maritime safety law.