IMO: Ships violating sulfur cap could be labeled 'unseaworthy'

2020sulphurlimit Noexceptions

The following is the text of a news release from the International Maritime Organization (IMO):

(LONDON) — Consistent implementation is the only option when it comes to the 0.5 percent limit on sulfur in fuel oil, which comes into force in 2020. Speaking on Wednesday at a conference for the refining and petrochemical industry in Athens, Greece, IMO’s Edmund Hughes, technical officer in the Marine Environment Division, reminded delegates that the 2020 global sulfur limit will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2020 without any delay.

How to ensure consistent implementation will be the subject of important discussions at the next session of IMO’S Subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), both at its session in February 2018 and during an intersessional working group to be held later in 2018. Compliance, enforcement and monitoring will be the remit and responsibility of both flag states and port states. The bunkering industry will also have a part to play in ensuring high sulfur fuel oil continues to be supplied to ships equipped with approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers.

Hughes reminded delegates of the commercial imperative for ships to be compliant. In addition to possible detention – which would make the ship a high risk for future port state inspection decisions – a non-compliant ship could be considered as being “unseaworthy," so affecting their charter party and also indemnity in the event of an insurance claim.    

By Professional Mariner Staff