UK Chamber Helping IMO’s Global Sulphur Cap in 2020


According to an article published in the Steel Guru, the UK Chamber is helping its members prepare for the IMO’s global sulphur cap in 2020, a new regulation that could be highly disruptive without the right guidance.

Why is it needed?

Time is running short and just months remain before the IMO’s global limit on the sulphur content of marine fuel comes into force on 1st January 2020. The global sulphur cap will enforce a limit of 0.50% m/m in marine fuel used by vessels trading internationally. IMO 2020 is being called a once-in-a-generation disruptor to shipping’s commercial environment.

Importance of the New Regulations

The world’s merchant fleet numbers over 52,000 vessels, of which most trade across international borders and will be subject to the global cap. The new regulation will change the face of the shipping industry – it will have a positive impact on the environment and on air quality, but could have a disruptive effect on operations if shipowners do not prepare effectively.

UK Chamber’s Objective

The UK Chamber knows shipowners need certainty in order to implement and make decisions that will achieve compliance with the 2020 regulation.

“Our continuing mission is to help our members achieve certainty and reduce their exposure to the unknown. But there are still a number of pending issues and the industry is still awaiting the publication of key guidance from international agencies that will help mitigate any risks”, said a press statement.

Concerned Areas

As far as they are concerned there are four key areas that need to be addressed before the 2020 deadline:

  1. How the regulation will be consistently enforced globally?
  2. Education on how new compliant fuel should be handled?
  3. How shipowners can report compliance issues to competent authorities?
  4. Mitigation of any safety issues related to switching to low-sulphur fuel?

The Guidelines So far

  1. The IMO is developing guidelines to support the consistent implementation of the sulphur cap in 2020, plus guidelines to help port state control enforce the regulation consistently around the world and therefore maintain a level playing field for vessel operators.
  2. The organization is also working on a fuel oil nonavailability template (FONAR), which would be submitted by shipowners to port state control (PSC) in the event that compliant fuel cannot be obtained.
  3. The FONAR provides documentation to prove that every effort to obtain compliant fuel has been pursued prior to a decision to bunker with non-compliant fuel.
  4. Discussions continue as to exactly what should be included in the standard FONAR reporting format and the IMO expects to publish its guidance in mid-2019.
  5. As part of this process, certain questions still remain to be answered. For instance, what happens to any non-compliant fuel remaining onboard after a ship, having already provided a FONAR, arrives at a port where compliant fuel is available?

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Source: Steel Guru