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ICS pushing MEPC meeting to adopt FONARs for 2020 sulphur cap

With the sulphur cap less than eight months away the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is pushing to get guidelines for non-availability of fuel adopted at the IMO MEPC meeting this week.

While much of the focus around the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting this week has been on measures to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping it is also the last opportunity ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap for the adoption of measures to smooth implementation.

“I think what will be important at MEPC this week we are pushing IMO to adopt these guidelines for fuel non-availability reports (FONARs),” Esben Poulsson, chairman of ICS told a Nautical Institute conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

Owners continue to have concerns over availability of low sulphur fuel come January next year, especially for tramp trading vessels calling smaller ports, and FONARs is designed to allow them to continue trading without penalty if they are only able to buy high sulphur fuel oil.

“And we as ICS do want to stress this is not a free pass, it just helps an owner who diligently and properly and documented tried to buy the proper fuel but has been able to.”

He added: “I personally look at this as a common sense exercise and I hope common sense will prevail.”

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