MARPOL Annex VI regulation 14.4 sets January  1, 2015 as the deadline for shipowners to comply with the new sulfur content requirement that limits the emission of sulfur and particulate matter to 0.10% m/m (1000 ppm) for vessels operating in The North American Emissions Control Area (ECA).

Shipowners face two options in order to comply with the regulation and avoid penalties: (1) use a fuel with a lower sulfur content or, (2) equip their vessel with "scrubber" like technology that will limit the emission of sulfur into the air by routinely cleaning the exhaust gas from the main engine and the vessels main generators. By choosing to equip their vessels with scrubbers, Shipowners may actually get a temporary break from the regulation and de facto obtain an extension of the January 1, 2015 deadline while they implement the new technology. At least two carriers have cut deals with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waiving enforcement of the regulation against some of  their  vessels‐‐for  up  to  two  years‐‐so  that  the installation of the scrubbers on board can be completed.

[1]      http://gcaptain.com/horizon‐lines‐secures‐eca‐ sulphur‐limit‐waiver/ [2]http://www.downstreambusiness.com/item/Royal‐ Caribbean‐Two‐Year‐Break‐2015‐ECA‐ Deadline_139639