638 - 5/09 - Fuel requirements - California - USA


The Association would like to draw the attention of its members to a new regulation, announced by the State of California Air Resources Board concerning fuel sulphur requirements for ocean going vessels.

The new regulation re-establishes and further extends the California fuel Sulphur content restrictions which were cancelled last year due to legal challenges. The regulation is presently in the final stages of review and will be in place in June with compliance becoming mandatory in July 2009.

Phase I of the regulation will require all vessels within California Waters and within 24 Nautical Miles from the baseline to use Marine Gas Oil (DMA) at or below 1.5% Sulphur content or Marine Diesel Oil (DMB) at or below 0.5% Sulphur content in all Main Engines and Auxiliary Diesel Engines and Auxiliary Boilers beginning 01 July 2009.

Phase II of the new regulation will require Marine Gas Oil (DMA) or Marine Diesel Oil (DMB) at or below 0.1% Sulphur content in all propulsion and auxiliary diesel engines and auxiliary boilers beginning 01 January 2012.

Some exemptions exist under the regulation, most notably for emergency generators, when complying will endanger the safety of the vessel and vessels on innocent passage. The California Air Resources Board, Marine Notice 2009-2 contains further information on the regulation and can be accessed through the link below.

Marine Notice 2009-2

Source of information:

Gallagher Marine Services LLM



Staff Author