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China's Yangtze Delta ECA comes into force

A 0.5% low sulphur emission control area (ECA) has come into force in China's Yangtze Delta impacting vessels calling some of the world's largest ports.

he Yangtze Delta ECA requiring ships to use 0.5% or less low sulphur fuel in designated areas came into force Monday, 1 October, three months ahead of its original schedule.

A circular from the London P&I Club said ships would have to use 0.5% or less low sulphur fuel when entering the Shanghai port area; the Yangtze River Delta ECA if vessel’s destination is Ningbo or Zhoushan port; and the Suzhou and Nantong ECA area.

Read more: China accelerates full entry into force of Yangtze Delta ECA

The local authorities can also designate a local sampling company to board the vessel to take samples to check compliance of the ship's fuel, acccording to the Club's correspondents Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service.

“To protect the vessel’s interests and to minimise the risk of the imposition of penalties, the correspondent recommends that Members designate a crew member to accompany the MSA officer throughout their attendance to ensure compliance with the sampling procedures set out in the IMO Guidelines for the Verification of Sulphur in Fuel and that a sample is retained by the vessel,” the circular said.

Members were advised to review bunkering and fuel change over requirements to ensure they were compliant.

For two other Chinese ECAs – the Pearl River Delta and Bohai-Rim Waters – the date for ships to operating within them to use 0.5% or lower sulphur fuel at all times will be 1 January 2019.

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