On July 25, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard issued guidelines for compliance with it’s enforcement of the North American Emission Control Area which goes into full effect on August 1, 2012. The North American ECA requires reduced sulfur oxide emissions through the use of low sulfur fuel or equivalent arrangements. The guidelines acknowledge that low sulfur fuel may not always be available and establishes the notifications vessel owners must make (for U.S.-flag vessels to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard) and other documentation requirements when such fuel is unavailable to avoid penalties.