IMO Set to Enforce Ban on Non-Compliant Fuel

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(Image Courtesy: IMO)

A majority of stakeholders of International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) subcommittee have backed the ban on fuel that is not compliant with sulphur limits from 2020. The proposals, which are pursuing the ban in Marpol annex six, were advanced ‘as a matter of urgency’ to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC).

If text is approved at MEPC meeting in April, it could be formally adopted at the following meeting in October. Given IMO procedures requiring amendments to be circulated after entry into force, the carriage ban could be in place as early as March 2020.

At the opening of the week-long IMO meeting, IMO’s Secretary-General, Kitack Lim specified that there is no turning back. The global Sulphur requirements will enter to force in 2020 and the effect of the rules will be significant for both the environment and public health.

The carriage ban, which would apply to all vessels without scrubbers, would enable port state control to penalise vessels under Marpol for simply carrying non-compliant fuel for use. Under the current wording, they must prove the fuel was used in their jurisdiction.

Executive Director of Danish Shipping, Maria Skipper Schwenn said, “This was the first step towards making enforcement of the sulphur requirement simpler. Now IMO begins to work on the practical implications surrounding the implementation to ensure that bunker suppliers, ship owners and authorities have the right instruments and guidance to comply with the sulphur regulation.”

The ‘urgent’ proposal is now being submitted for discussion at the next MEPC meeting scheduled in April. The proposal process will be expedited and is expected to be adopted in October 2018. Subsequently, the proposal must be incorporated into the IMO’s MARPOL Convention before it can enter into force. It is expected to take place on 1 March 2020.

(Source: The MotorShip, Hellenic Shipping News)

Sea News, February 12