Specifically, the 2020 sulphur cap will lead to a substantial decline of sulphur emissions from the sector by 77% and have health benefits for coastal communities.

A great part of the maritime sector have already begun preparations for the sulphur cap, looking for alternative, less polluting fuels or by investing in exhaust gas cleaning alternatives.

Moreover, the Chamber notes that the this transition should not be experienced as part of the current regulatory requirement but as a way to creating the foundations for the next energy transition phase and start making the business case for shipowners to pursue further improvement in fuel efficiency.

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Yet, this transition brings challenges for the shipping sector and its stakeholders. This means, that cleaner fuels will increase the energy bills of ships, and the transport cost. In addition, another challenge that the industry has to deal with is fuel safety, which is commented as "one of the industry’s top challenge for 2020" by the Chamber.

Thus, this time IMO's regulations have become stricter, pushing governments to adopt a proportional response to marine fuel safety as they do for the transport industries ashore.

The global nature of the industry also means that enforcement is critical. Unfortunately, many governments have yet to sketch out how they are going to ensure consistent implementation and enforcement of the regulation.

The IMO has already taken some steps towards addressing implementation issues by giving governments and industry guidance. Despite the challenges of the last year, the direction remains strong as the shipping industry tackles the challenge of achieving the sustainability targets.