Supply chains in the Chemical and Energies industry already face a complex regulatory landscape. As regulation expands, experts at Maersk outline some of the current – and future – challenges arising from logistics compliance, and the support they offer.

All industries and supply chains are bound by regulations and compliance.
But the daily logistics of transporting hazardous goods around the world makes the Chemicals and Energies industry a special case.

A.P. Møller-Maersk is a leading end-to-end integrated service provider for container logistics and supply chains. A diverse team of experts makes Maersk the partner of choice to help the chemical industry meet global and local rules & regulations, while avoiding unnecessary costs and securing the license to operate.

Henrik Lauritsen, Head of Dangerous Goods – Global Safety and Resilience at Maersk explains, “We have a general clear understanding that the so-called ‘license to operate’ is re-earned by the industry and logistic service partners like Maersk every day of the year. That happens not only by complying in letter and spirit with existing regulations, but also by being aware, involved and prepared for upcoming changes and additions to those regulations.”

As the Chemical industry forges ahead in the design and development of innovative materials, Maersk is a trusted logistics partner for safe handling of products across transport modes.
Although International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) set globally validated standards for air and ocean-based logistics, it is often underestimated how varied regulations are for land-based logistics.

Lauritsen explains, “To cover regulations across modes and around the world, it is vital that logistics service providers have a centralised expert team to drive knowledge and compliance to all areas of operations in their organisation. It is all about one version of the truth, and confidence in compliant execution.”

Maersk’s experts not only provide in-depth support for compliance around the world. They also engage upfront in honest discussions about new and upcoming regulations. Currently regulatory discussions on possible categorisation of plastic pellets as dangerous goods are taking place. Through IMO, Maersk provides expert knowledge on the practical implications of this seen from a logistics perspective.

Henrik Lauritsen elaborates: “The chemical industry’s license to operate is upheld by prevention. It is crucial to understand how safe processes and procedures can help avoid supply chain accidents which potentially can impact both society and environment. Safety and accident prevention is inherently sustainable, so it is understandable that regulatory focus on protecting the environment is huge.

“There can be no let-up on safety. Accident prevention and active root cause analysis in the unfortunate event of an incident help the industry to continuously improve and help reassure society and lawmakers to keep the regulatory scope efficient.”
The interdependency of safety and sustainability was also a hotly debated topic at LogiChem 2023. Sabine Schultes, Head of Dangerous Goods Transportation for Henkel KGaA, commented: “Actually, I would go so far to say that there is no sustainability without safety.”

Additional regulations increasingly target the Chemical and Energies Industry

In recent years numerous regulations have been introduced that affect the industry. For example, the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ initiative aims to cut emissions (including carbon emissions) at least 55% by 2030. In addition, a levy already exists for carbon emissions in EU-produced goods, managed through the Emissions Trading System. And the latest regulation – CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism) – mirrors this existing levy by putting a tax on carbon emissions embedded in goods imported into the EU. The six key industries initially targeted by CBAM regulations include: iron and steel, aluminium, cement, fertilisers, hydrogen, and electricity. By 2030, all goods covered by the Emissions Trading System are expected to be subject to CBAM, and some chemicals and plastics may be before that.

Maersk’s Global Trade & Customs team can support affected companies with advice on how to comply with CBAM and to assess the impact and potential options for reducing exposure. “Authorities will impose default emissions values which will be very high, we think, compared to if an importer does the calculations and reports proactively,” says William Petty, Product Development Manager – Global Trade & Customs Consulting, Maersk.

The CBAM transition period begins in October 2023, so companies need to start collecting data in readiness to submit their first quarterly report. From 1 January 2026, importers need to be officially authorised by CBAM and start buying certificates.

The recent growth in regulations highlights the importance of a trusted and transparent partnership between the Chemical and Energies industry and their logistics providers. By working with an integrated logistics provider, industry leaders can rest easy, knowing their goods are compliant across regulations and geographies.