682 - 02/10 - Fuel Sulphur Content - Italy


The Association would like to inform Members of the situation in Italian ports regarding the implementation of the EU low sulphur directive.

In accordance with the EU directive, vessels are required to burn only fuels with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.1% whilst alongside. The fuel change over should take place as soon as possible after arrival and as late as possible before departure in line with the Italian Decree.

Sulphur Content Exemption Authorization and Port Policies for Burning Fuels Exceeding 0.1% Limit

Until August 2010, authorisation to burn fuels exceeding the limit of 0.1% sulphur may be requested from the Harbour Master under the following conditions:-

  • The application must be supported by a statement from Registry stating that all steps undertaken by the company, class and manufacturers have been submitted to them, as well as the dates within which the retrofit will be installed and the vessel can comply with the requirements of the EU directive;
  • All requests must be submitted at least one working day before arrival.

Some ports, such as Trieste have taken a harder line stating that exemptions will no longer be given and previous special authorisations have been cancelled.

Consequences of Higher Fuel Sulphur Content

The use of fuels with a higher sulphur content will result in a fine between €15,000 and €150,000. The Harbour Master's office can also ban the vessel and/or the Master from EU ports for a period of up to 24 months.

Using gas oil with content lower than 0.1% sulphur by mass with machinery not designed to operate with it will result in a port state control inspection due to unsafe practice.

Members are advised to ensure that they are ready to comply with the EU directive before entering any EU port.

Source of information:

Loss Prevention Dept



Staff Author