Norway Doubles ECA Inspections

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The Norwegian Maritime Authority may fine three vessels  for sulfur limit violations in Norway.

Reported News Highlights:

  • Samples from 100 ships is so far taken while the target for 2015 is 200. It is double the target of 2014.
  • Steps up enforcement of the new 0.10% Emission Control Area (ECA) sulfur limit.
  • All inspections were based on fuel in use for ECA sulfur compliance.
  • Violations above 0.18% of sulfur limit are above grey area.
  • Penalties were on case by case basis.

European Union (EU) regulations and other International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states with designated ECAs has the discretionary power to interpret the penalty clause based on the nature of the violation.

Authorities enforcing sulfur limits will discern between gross non-compliance and simple violation by factoring the vessel’s requirement to travel through different regions in their journey.

European Commission (EC) “Implementation Decision” for the EU sulfur directive has factored the result of fuel switching as cross-contamination limit.

US Environmental Protection Agency uses a sliding scale for specific ECA non-compliance fines.  The penalty increases in proportion to the level of sulfur infraction.

The EPA’s sliding scale sets no fines for fuels used in ECAs below 0.15% sulfur.  But says that, “the case team may use its discretion in setting the gravity amount up to $150.00 per metric ton,” for all those violations between 0.10% and 0.15%.

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