The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently published guidance for vessel operators, utilizing the research exemption to use fuel at or below 0.1% sulphur that does not meet specifications for distillate fuel grades in the California Ocean-Going Vessel Fuel Rule.
While CARB regulations require the use of marine distillates, 0.1% Marine Gas Oil (MGO) or 0.1% Marine Diesel Oil (MDO), during the period that CARB are studying the effect of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) on compliance the CARB regulation, they will accept the use of compliant ECA fuels utilizing the Research Exemption.
CARB staff have noted a number of violations of the sulphur regulatory limit, while testing the collected shipboard in-use samples. The purpose of the notice is to alert vessel operators that there is a risk of exceeding the sulphur limit when using fuel, covered by the research exemption, and to suggest some possible steps that operators can take to reduce the likelihood of noncompliance.
The guidance can be found here.
Source of Information