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Fuel sulphur declaration on bunker delivery notes enters into force

Bunker delivery note (BDN) amendments relating to supply of marine fuels to ships with alternative mechanisms to address sulphur emission requirements have entered into force on 1 January 2019, IMO said.

The amendments come ahead of the 1 January 2020 global fuel sulphur content cap of 0.5% from the current 3.5%.

The amendments, which have been made to Appendix V of Marpol Annex VI, are intended to address situations where the bunker fuel supplied does not meet low sulphur requirements, but has been supplied to a ship using an alternative and permitted compliance method, such as scrubber, to reduce sulphur emissions.

IMO said the BDN should include a declaration signed and certified by the fuel oil supplier's representative that the fuel oil supplied conforms with Marpol Annex VI, including Emissions Control Areas with sulphur content limit of 0.1%.

At present, areas under ECAs are the Baltic Sea, North Sea, North American designated coastal areas, the US Caribbean Sea area around Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.

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It should be noted, though, that the amendments do not put an obligation on suppliers to ensure the ship has an approved exhaust has cleaning system before supplying fuel with sulphur exceeding the regulatory limit, according to International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA).

“This is not the case and the regulation is clear,” said Unni Einemo of IBIA.

“It requires bunker suppliers, if asked to provide fuel exceeding the sulphur limit in Regulation 14.1 to a ship, to do so only on the basis of receiving a notification from the buyer that the fuel is intended to be used compliantly. There is no requirement on the supplier to check if this is the case -- only to obtain a ‘notification’,” she said.

“If a bunker supplier has concerns about a buyer's ability to use HSFO compliantly, the supplier can of course choose not to provide HSFO, but there is no obligation on them to make checks,” she added.

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