Island shipping costs set to rise over EU fuel rules

Commodore Clipper in St Peter Port Harbour
Image caption Modifiying Condor's freight ferries will cost millions and drive up costs, says the company

The cost of commercial shipping to Jersey and Guernsey is set to rise because of new EU rules governing ships' emissions.

Although the islands are not in the EU, ships operating near EU coasts must comply with tighter rules from January.

The new regulations are designed to lower the amount of sulphur emitted into the atmosphere.

This is achieved by using more expensive fuel or fitting exhaust "scrubbers".

Condor Ferries, which operates all ferries to the Channel Islands, said its high-speed car and passenger vessels already complied with the new rules.

However, the company's freight vessels, the Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill, will switch fuel in January until they have scrubbers fitted in the autumn.

The cleaner fuel, marine gas oil, is 40% more expensive than the intermediate fuel oil it replaces.

Steve Champion-Smith, Condor's freight director, said fitting the scrubbers would cost millions of pounds, meaning freight charges will rise.

Martin Langlois, general manager of Ferryspeed, a freight company in Guernsey, said the news was another pressure on business.

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