IMO adopts carriage ban on high-sulfur fuel

(LONDON) — Ships without scrubbers will be unable to carry fuel with a sulfur content higher than 0.5 percent from March 2020 after the move was adopted by International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) last week, The Motorship reported.

The move is seen as a key step in improving the enforceability of the IMO’s global sulfur cap (to be implemented from Jan. 1, 2020), meaning that ships will not be able to carry non-compliant fuel unless they have the means to comply with the sulfur limit. It is just one of several measures supporting the new sulfur regulations to have been agreed at the 73rd sitting of MEPC.

The committee also approved guidance on ship implementation planning as part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO. The guidance includes sections on risk assessment and mitigation planning; fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning; fuel oil capacity and segregation capability; procurement of compliant fuel; fuel oil changeover planning; and documentation and reporting.

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By Professional Mariner Staff