Shipping industry organisations call for progress on key sulphur cap issues at IMO

The main shipping industry trade organisations say International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states “must make” progress on key issues related to the 2020 sulphur cap.

Bimco, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intertanko and Intercargo have co-sponsored a number of submissions, at the IMO Sub Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response, which meets during the week commencing 9 July, as they seek to ensure the smooth implementaion of the global 0.5% sulphur cap without compromising safety or unfairly penalising individual ships.

In a joint statement the organisations said the industry was “fully committed” to the successful implementaion of the sulphur cap, but that as global regulation it would be far more complex than the introduction of Emission Control Areas.

“The industry recognises that, in a legal sense, there will be no transitional period after 1 January 2020.  But something of this magnitude has never previously been attempted before on a worldwide basis,” they said.

“The industry will do its utmost to be fully compliant to the extent that this is under its control. But safe and successful implementation will necessitate the supply of fuels, in ports around the world, which are compatible as well as legally compliant.”

Co-sponsored submissions at the July meeting include - a standard format for a ship specific implementation plan with many actions ships may need to consider for achieving compliance but also a call for a practical and pragmatic approach from IMO Member States when verifying compliance with the 0.50% global sulphur cap.  

- Safety implications associated with 2020 fuels and their respective challenges

- A draft standard for reporting on fuel oil non-availability.

 - Proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to require sampling points for fuel oil.

 - Verification issues and control mechanism and actions.

Despite a recent flurry in activity from shipowners deciding to fit scrubbers an informal survey by classification society ABS found that 53% of owners surveyed said their fleets were not ready to meet to the sulphur cap.

Read more: 53% of owners/operators not ready for compliance with sulphur cap

Scrubbers shown a little bit of love for large sized vessels

Posted 18 June 2018

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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