Legal Update: US EPA no longer accepting FONARs via their FONAR portal as of 30th June 2019
Members’ attention is drawn to the USCG Marine Safety Bulletin (MSIB) 005-19 introducing a new procedure for ship owners and operators operating in the North American (NA) or US Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area (ECA) to comply with the MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 18.2.4. Ship owners and operators are required under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 18.2.4 to notify the competent authority of the vessel’s inability to acquire sufficient MARPOL Annex VI compliant fuel oil at a foreign or U.S. port prior to arriving in the area.
The USCG is now the competent authority to receive all notifications related to fuel oil non-availability and is responsible for enforcement action (including vessel detention) in cases of non-compliance. The USCG will investigate all reports of non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI to determine what actions may be warranted. Such actions may range from completing the investigation with no follow-on action, detaining the vessel, and/or pursuing civil penalties. The USCG may also refer the matter to EPA.
There is no specific format* for the notification. However, consistent with MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 18.2.1, the ship owner or operator should be prepared to present a record of the actions taken to achieve compliance, including evidence that they attempted to purchase compliant fuel oil in accordance with the vessel’s voyage plan.
Ship owners and operators are reminded that the sulfur content of any fuel oil used onboard ships within the NA or U.S. Caribbean Sea ECAs will not change when the worldwide sulfur cap is reduced on January 1, 2020.
*Until the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopts a FONAR, it is suggested that ships use the format provided in the Annex to PPR 6/8/2 ("Consistent Implementation of Regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI: Proposed Template to report compliant fuel oil non-availability.”
US Marine Safety Information Bulletin - Fonar (272 KB)
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The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) took place on 13-17 May 2019 at the IMO headquarters in London.
On 17 May 2019, IMO's MEPC 74 adopted the resolutions below to allow for ERBs to be used. Guidelines to support the use of ERBs were also adopted by the Committee. These amendments, which will reduce the heavy burden associated with paperwork and which are thus to be welcomed, will enter into force on 1 October 2020;
US Emission Control Areas (ECA), USCG Guidelines for Compliance & Enforcement dated 07.11.2019
China MSA announces their Implementation Plan of 2020 Global Marine Fuel Oil Sulphur Limits on 23 October 2019
In order to effectively implement the IMO's global regulations on the limits of the sulphur
content of marine fuel oil, China MSA announced the Implementation Plan of 2020 Global
Marine Fuel Oil Sulphur Limits (hereinafter referred to as “The Plan”) on 23 October 2019.
The Plan specifies the requirements on the ships’ use and carriage of fuel oil as well as
alternative measures, reporting of information about the ships’ use and carriage of fuel
oil, disposal of ships’ non‐compliant fuel oil, prior registration of bunker suppliers, as well
as MSA’s supervision and administrative measures, etc. The Plan also includes the format
of the Fuel Oil Non‐Availability Report (Hereinafter referred to as “FONAR”).