311 - 07/03 - Violations of the Air Pollution Act - River Schelde - The Netherlands

We have been advised by one of our Members of a recent case in which a ship, whilst transiting the River Schelde, was inspected and found to fail the sulphur content limit required by the EC Air Pollution Act Directive 199/32.

The vessel concerned had its MDO and HFO 380 tanks inspected by the VROM Inspectie of Eindhoven. The results of the inspection showed that the sulphur content of the MDO was in excess of the limit stipulated by the Act.  This case is now in the hands of the public prosecutor who may decide to institute proceedings along with numerous other similar cases.

The samples concerned were analyzed and the sulphur content of the marine diesel oil was found to be 1.61%.  According to the Air Pollution Act, which has been in effect in the Netherlands since 27th Sept 1974, the sulphur content of fuels may not exceed 0.20%. The HFO was found to be within the allowed limits.

We would also draw Members’ attention to regulations on the halogen content of fuel that have been in effect in the Netherlands since 1st Mar 1999. These stipulate that it is prohibited to use fuel (with a number of exceptions) that contains an organic halogen compound of more than 50 mg per kilo.

We would advise Members to be aware that Dutch authorities now seem to be enforcing these rules rigorously.


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