ICS updates sulfur cap guidance as target date nears

The following is text of a news release from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS):

(LONDON) — With six months to go until the implementation of the global sulfur cap, the International Chamber of Shipping has issued updated guidance to help shipowners comply with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations. Taking full effect on Jan. 1, 2020 the legal framework will require merchant ships worldwide to use fuel with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent or use alternative mitigation technologies. 

“These new regulations are good for human health and good for the environment," said Guy Platten, secretary-general of ICS. "With just six months to go before implementation, these free ICS guidelines will help shipping companies with the vital task of preparing for compliance. We strongly recommend that shipowners prepare an implementation plan for each of their ships using the template agreed by IMO.” 

The ICS guidance incorporates the latest IMO decisions addressing issues such as fuel oil non-availability reporting, fuel safety and fuel quality. The updated guidelines will help ships avoid Port State Control difficulties that might arise, through no fault of the operator, and enable shipowners and ships’ crews to overcome the practical challenges presented by this multi-fuel scenario.

The free resource, "Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulfur Cap," contains details of the new requirements to allow on board sampling to verify fuel oil compliance, includes a new section on managing different fuels, an updated FAQ and a new appendix with the IMO standard template fuel oil non-availability report (FONAR). 

“The industry is focused on moving forward but uncertainty remains about the worldwide availability of safe and compliant low sulfur fuels, and the operational challenges associated with using them," Platten said. "It is absolutely vital that everyone concerned, including governments, oil producers and bunker suppliers, redouble their efforts to ensure that safe and compatible fuels will be available in every port worldwide.” 

The updated guidelines, which have been produced with the support of ICS’s regional partners – the Asian Shipowners' Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) – are available to download for free by clicking here.

By Professional Mariner Staff