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Shipping and environmental organisations in joint call for ban on carrying high sulphur fuel from 2020

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A coalition of shipping industry and environmental organisations have called for ban of the carriage of fuel of higher than 0.5% sulphur content once the cap comes into force at the start of 2020.

While the 2020 IMO 0.5% sulphur cap is seen as bringing significant environmental and health benefits there are concerns that lax enforcement will lead to the regulation being flouted due to the cost advantage in doing so.

The ICS, Intertanko, Bimco, World Shipping Council, International Parcel Tankers Association, CLIA, the Clean Shipping Coalition, Friends of the Earth, WWF, and Pacific Environment have come together to call for explicit ban on the carriage on non-compliant fuels ahead of an IMO meeting February at which proposals for a carriage ban will be discussed by governments, environmental and shipping organisations.

These proposals call for an amendment to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, stipulating that ships should not carry fuel for propulsion with a sulphur content above 0.5%.

The organisations said it was of utmost importance that there was efficient and robust enforcement of the standard globally.

“Any failure by governments to ensure consistent implementation and enforcement could also lead to serious market distortion and unfair competition,” they said.

Only ships that have an approved compliance equivalence method should be allowed to carry fuels of over 0.5% sulphur. Some owners are opting to fit scrubbers which will enable their ships to continue to burn high sulphur fuel oil.

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