From January 1st 2020 onward, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a new limit for sulphur oxide (NOx) emissions in the shipping industry. From this date on only 0.5% m/m (mass by mass) NOx are allowed in fuels used to power ships - instead of the previous regulation of 3.5% m/m NOx. In designated emission control areas (ECAS), the IMO set an even higher standard of 0.1% m/m NOx. 
This regulation not only sets boundaries of what emissions are allowed in maritime mobility, but is a clear indicator of the desire to shift the shipping industry towards a emission-free future.
Additionally, as a vastly globalized sector, developing effective legislation for the shipping industry has always been a demanding operation: The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and each national government for itself have tried tackling the issues arising from the constantly growing shipping industry leading to a “conflict between globalisation and domesticity” which in itself becomes a different challenge to lawmakers. 
For Germany in particular, one attempt to regulate waterways is the “Masterplan Binnenschifffahrt” (engl. master plan inland water transportation). It tries to advance the domestic shipping industry in five core dimensions: The infrastructure itself, the industry’s environmental friendliness, its digitization, its logistics and the employment implications. 
Also, the conflict between globalisation and domesticity mentioned above becomes evident when talking about the risk that political disputes pose to the shipping industry: Territorial disputes, embargos or sanctions might significantly impair the supply chain of waterbound transportation and therefore always pose a imminent threat to the industry’s agency. 
From the consumers’ perspective, the shipping industry has been under scrutiny for years: Mainly, the industry has been identified as one of the key CO2 emitting industries through its usage of fossil fuels and especially heavy fuel oil and would be the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions if it were a country. 
Although being a highly polluting industry, there is also a flip side to the relationship between consumers and the shipping industry: Due to the fact that most cargo these days is moved by ship, it is an essential part of the supply chain for consumer goods. Getting rid of this dependence by forcing the industry to heavily invest in sustainability or eco friendliness, could result in a significant increase in delivery times and a decrease in product range available.
 International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2020). Cutting sulphur oxide emissions. https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Sulphur-2020.aspx.
 Roe, M. (2013, August). Maritime Governance and Policy-Making: The Need for Process Rather than Form. The Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics. Vol. 29. °2. pp.70ff.
 Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI). (2020, January 22). Masterplan Binnenschifffahrt. https://www.bmvi.de/DE/Themen/Mobilitaet/Wasser/Binnenschifffahrt/binnenschifffahrt.html.
 Allianz. (2020). Shipping security - political risk threat continues to evolve. https://www.agcs.allianz.com/news-and-insights/expert-risk-articles/shipping-security-political-risk-threat-continues-to-evolve.html.
 Oceana. Shipping Pollution. https://europe.oceana.org/en/shipping-pollution-1.