The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been working to reduce the harmful impacts of shipping on the environment, setting progressively stricter limits on the sulphur content of fuel oils used by vessels. Failure to comply with these new rules can lead to substantial fines.
Recently, the IMO has adopted a 2008 resolution that introduces a reduced global sulphur cap on marine fuels. The current global limit of 3.5% mass/mass (m/m) shall decrease to 0.5% m/m from 1 January 2020.
While the new regulation has been welcomed by all, there are challenges in ensuring its full compliance and enforcement. This page is dedicated to provide Members with the resources necessary to overcome these challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global trade has led to many shipowners selling off their ships for dismantling earlier than they might otherwise have done. According to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 166 ships were broken up in the first quarter of 2020, and 98 ships in the second quarter.
The Club’s correspondents in Australia, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, advise of an increase in fines for those polluting Australian waters.
While no changes are anticipated in the US enforced Emission Control Areas (ECAs) on or after 1 January, 2020, US regions outside the ECAs will need to ensure compliance with the IMO’s 2020 global 0.5% sulphur cap from 1 January, 2020.
The Government of Iceland have issued a news release stating that, effective 1 January 2020, the permissible sulphur content of marine fuels used in the territorial sea and internal waters of Iceland will be lowered from 3.5% to 0.1%.
Members are referred to ECM Maritime Services LLC’s Client Alert 21-2019 for details of ACP’s updated fuel requirements for vessels anchoring, transiting through and docking at terminals in Panama Canal waters. These requirements will apply from 1 January 2020, in compliance with IMO 2020.
From 1 January 2020, the new 0.5% m/m global limit for sulphur in fuel used on board ships comes into effect. Parties in the bunker chain i.e. those involved in the production, distribution, storage, handling and use of bunker fuels have expressed concerns over the practical implementation of this new global limit, a substantial drop from the current 3.5% m/m. A Joint Industry Project (JIP) was therefore established to raise awareness of the issues which might arise.
The UK Club has received the following update from Oasis P&I Services Company Ltd., regarding breach of low-sulphur fuel requirements in ECA in China.