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Live from Posidonia

Panama calls for pragmatic approach to sulphur cap implementation

With the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting the week of the 9th of July to discuss the implementation the low sulphur regulation for ships from 1 January 2020, Panama in conjunction with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Bimco, Intergcargo, Intertanko and the World Shipping Council (WSC) are proposing a package of measures to ensure adequate conditions for a seamless transition. 

Panama’s recommendations were made by Jorge Barakat, Minister of Maritime Affairs after a meeting at Posidonia in Athens with the President of the European Community Shipowner's Association, Panagiotis Laskaridi. 

The measures proposed that will serve as a strategy for the reduction of sulphur emissions, include the following:

- The means to communicate to Port State Control authorities the right information on inspection;

- A standard format for communicating to the authorities on the cases of non-availability of compliant fuel;

- A mandatory adoption of the latest edition of ISO standard 8754 as the reference test method for sulphur contents; and 

- The measures for an appropriate handling of samples.


In view of this new challenge, the Panama Maritime Authority calls on States to adopt a pragmatic approach for a smooth transition of the sulphur levels in fuel from 3.50%m/m to 0.5%m/m. 

This will require collaboration and clear communication from all stakeholders, while also being aware and addressing any safety implications related to the implementation of this new sulphur cap.