906 - 08/13 - Fines for no fuel switch over - California

Maritime Shipping firms are continuing to have fines levied against them by the California Air Resources Board (ARM) for not carrying out the required fuel switch over, from HFO to Low-Sulphur, prior to entering Regulated California Waters.

The ARB are required (by the California Health and Safety Code Section 39560-39675) to identify and control toxic air contaminants in California, and the emissions from marine engines powered by HFO have been identified to contain such contaminants.

An ARB investigation showed that on 17 visits to California ports between November 6, 2009 and July 18, 2011, a 12490 DWT car carrier operated its main engines within Regulated California Waters on heavy fuel oil resulting in a $299,500 fine to the parent company.

In August 2012, after it docked at the Port of Los Angeles, an 83454 DWT geared bulk carrier was also cited for failing to switch to the required cleaner fuel while operating within Regulated California Waters. Its parent company was fined $53,000.

In February 2013, prior to docking at the Ports of Stockton and Long Beach, a 29061 DWT bulk carrier was cited for failing to switch its engines over to the required cleaner fuel while operating within Regulated California Waters. The owner was fined $87,750.

The ARB conducts over 500 ship inspections each year, checking for proper fuel usage, record-keeping and other compliance requirements, and takes marine gas oil or marine diesel oil samples for submission to the ARB laboratory to ensure they meet California standards for sulphur.

Members are advised to ensure vessels are fully compliant with California State regulations and that fuel switch over’s are carried out, and fully documented, prior to entry into Regulated California Waters.


Source of information:


Loss Prevention Department




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