How to Take Care of Too Many Regulations

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Dr-R.-Vis-CEO-of-Viswa-Lab1.jpgEveryone is now full of concern and trepidation over the MARPOL ANNEX VI regulations with 0.1% sulfur in Emission Control Areas (ECA).  The concern and confusion are more because of the bewildering regulatory regimes, each imposing its own regulation on top of the IMO regulation.

The APEX body IMO was intended to be the Sun that spread its light (of regulatory requirements) evenly over the Earth.  It now looks like several regions such as EU, California coast, US Coast are each coming up with their own little LED lights.  As it is, there is enough confusion with the SOx and NOx and ECA details of the emission regulations and the multiple additional regulations riding on top is creating confusion and consternation.

The Japanese had a simple way to deal with this kind of problem.  When they built ships in late 50’s and early 60’s, customers came from every part of the world.  Each customer carried his own national quality standards.  The German’s came with DIN, Indian’s came with ISI, British came with BSI, US came with ASTM and all these regimes coexisted with the Global ISO standards.  If you took a specification for steel plate, each standard would have a different number for different parameters.  Trying to satisfy all the Global customers was not an easy task.  The Japanese Ship builders prepared a table with all the parametric values of all the standards.  They picked up the most stringent requirement for each parameter.  For example, Phosphorous content in steel could be 0.035% maximum by one standard and 0.050% by another standard and 0.020% by yet another standard.  So the Japanese took the 0.020% limit which was the lowest and produced a steel plate with even less phosphorous, perhaps 0.015%.  They did this with every parameter and ended up with a grade which exceeded the requirements of any Global Spec.

Result? End of confusion.  All the customers who carried their own country standards just put it away and went with the Japanese standards.

Can we not do something like that for all these regulations? Take the most stringent one and make it universally applicable.  This will remove all the confusion and everyone works for the best standard.  This is just a cry from an exasperated bunker professional.

Dr. Vis

President,

Viswa Lab.