The International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), designating specific portions of U.S., Canadian and French waters as an Emission Control Area (ECA). Now, when large ships, such as oil tankers, cruise ships and container ships, operate in the ECA, they must use dramatically cleaner fuel and technology designed to reduce sulfur, particulate emissions and other harmful pollutants. The fuel currently being used has a very high sulfur content, and the new ECA standards will reduce sulfur content in fuel by 98 percent - slashing particulate matter emissions by 85 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 80 percent. To achieve these reductions, tougher sulfur standards will be phased in starting in 2012 and new ships must use advanced emission-control technologies beginning in 2016. The North American ECA will become enforceable in August 2012. The area of the North American ECA includes waters adjacent to the Pacific Coast, the Atlantic/Gulf Coast and the eight main Hawaiian Islands. It extends up to 200 nautical miles from coasts of the United States, Canada and the French territories, except that it does not extend into marine areas subject to the sovereignty or jurisdiction of other States.