Live from SMM 2018

The Seatrade Maritime reporting team brings you all the key stories in the run-up to, and live on the ground during, SMM 2018, the international maritime trade fair.

IMO drawing up guidelines on implementation of 2020 global sulphur cap

Hamburg Messe und Congress / Stephan Wallocha

The IMO is working with its Member States and the shipping industry “to identify and mitigate transitional issues” surrounding introduction of the global sulphur cap in January 2020, delegates were told at the 5th biennial gmec (global maritime environment congress) taking place at the SMM trade show in Hamburg this week.

Delivering the keynote address to an audience of around 100 delegates, the deputy director of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Division, Tianbing Huang, spoke of the environmental challenges facing the industry. These included the need to fit ballast water treatment systems, implementation of the new 0.5% sulphur limit, and the IMO’s pledge to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions by at least 50% (from 2008 levels) by 2050 – all subjects discussed in the day-long gmec programme organised by SMM in co-operation with Seatrade.

Regarding sulphur, Huang disclosed that the IMO is now working with Member States and industry on drawing up a set of guidelines to “help ensure consistent implementation” of the new 2020 regulations which are due to be finalised at the 74th meeting of the international body’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) in May 2019.

Areas where guidance will be provided include: risk assessment of the impact of new fuels; fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning (if needed); fuel oil capacity and segregation capability; procurement of compliant fuel; fuel oil changeover plans; and documentation and reporting, he informed.

Seatrade Maritime News is reporting live from SMM 2018

The industry has repeatedly expressed concerns over the implementation of the sulphur cap and at the SMM opening press conference of Tuesday, International Chamber of Shipping chairman Esben Poulsson noted that, “Nothing of this scale has been attempted before.”

Meanwhile, draft rules prohibiting the carriage of non-compliant fuel for combustion purposes are likely to be finalised at MEPC 73 taking place later this year, the IMO official added.

Posted 5 September 2018

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Bob Jaques

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Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review Bob Jaques is the editor of Seatrade Maritime Review with over 20 years' experience as a maritime journalist and moderator of shipping conferences. Before that he was based in Geneva and wrote for a number of international business and consumer titles, in the fields of aerospace, media and travel.

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