According to a press release, notes from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) – Sulphur Inspection Guidance. The following are some FAQ about the enforcement of IMO 2020 sulfur regulations.
These are taken from the EMSA – Sulphur Inspection Guidance for vessels operating in the EU. These notes could as well apply to the sulfur regulation that will be enforced from 01/01/2020
1. What are the regulations?
As per the EU Directive 2016/802 (codification of Council Directive 1999/32/EC), the below is the maximum Sulphur content (by mass % m/m) for fuels to be used on vessels.
These will apply to all ships of all flags, including domestic shipping and those whose journey began outside the EU. These limitations on the sulfur content in principle don’t apply to e.g. Fuels used by warships and other vessels under military service and to fuels onboard vessels employing emission abatement methods.
2. What constitutes as a non‐conformance?
Below are some scenarios that can be considered a non‐conformance;
- Missing or incomplete bunker delivery notes
- Missing or incomplete ship logbooks including fuel change over procedures
- If the MARPOL sample is not available, not complete, not sealed, not marked
- Sulfur in the fuel is
- above 0.1% (Inside SECA),
- above 0.1% (Outside SECA at berth)
- above 0.5%
- above 1.5 % (pass at sea outside of SECA until 01/01/2020)
- If the vessel is unable to provide a record of action taken to achieve compliance
- If the vessel is unable to provide evidence of purchase attempts to buy a compliant fuel
- If the vessel is unable to provide evidence of non‐availability
- Missing, incorrect entries, incomplete, invalid commissioning in progress of the Emission
Abatement Method approval document or trail approval
- If the vessel does a late or not complete or not documented change over
- If the sampling is
- technically not possible
- no standard sample
- not conducted in an approved manner
- unsafe from an unrepresentative sampling point
- refused by the ship
- If the abatement technology (EU flag only) is not approved and no equivalent
- If the abatement technology does not continuously reduce SOX emissions
3. What are the legally accepted concessions?
Below are some acceptable scenarios for being non‐compliant
- In the case where the master of the ship claims that it has not been possible to purchase low sulphur fuel, the evidence must be provided that all reasonable measures were taken to source this
- In the case where the master claims that non‐compliant fuels have been used due to damage sustained to the ship or its equipment, suitable evidence must be provided. The master must also prove that all reasonable measures were taken after the occurrence of the damage to prevent excessive emissions, the flag Administration and port State authorities were notified, and that measures have been taken as soon as possible to repair the damage.
- In the case where the master claims that the fuel switch‐over had to be delayed due to
inclement weather or to maintain the safety of the ship, the master must be able to provide suitable evidence and should have informed the port before arrival.
- If non‐compliances are found during the Sulphur Inspection, any follow up or corrective actions should be taken in accordance with the national legislation transposing the Directive in each Member State.
4. What is the penalty for being non‐compliant?
It is not very clear as to what would be the number of fines or penalty for being non‐compliant. The penalties are set by the individual parties such as flag state or port state entities.
As such, there is no established fine or penalty set by IMO. In one of the article written by Mr.Chris Cote (Global Fuel Analyst at ESAI Energy LLC), the fine in the USA for using HSFO in an ECA is $25,000 per day whereas in Belgium the fine would be a one‐time of $6 million.
Some of the port state authorities may pass the non‐compliance to the flag state and wait for them to impose a fine of its own.
(Source ‐ https://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume‐117/issue‐1/transportation/ship‐compliance‐ will‐determine‐imo‐2020‐market‐impact.html)
5. What does the vessel need to do to be in compliance?
The first thing that the vessel needs to have is proper documentation of the following at the least;
- Bunker delivery notes as per MARPOLs requirement showing all the compliance terms and the sulfur content of the fuel
- Engine log books
- A properly written fuel change over procedures
- A change over the log book
- All records of approval trails documents pertaining to the emission abatement technology used onboard, records of emission monitoring from the abatement technology.
- Some of the vessels voluntarily send samples from the storage, settling, service as well as a sample from before the engine for checking the sulfur content to ensure they are in compliance as a proactive measure. These samples are sent to laboratories (that has an ISO 17025 certification).
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