Use and carriage of fuel oil and alternative measures

From January 1st 2020 entering Chinese must use fuel oil of sulphur content not exceeding 0.50%. In addition, ships entering China inland waterway emission control areas must use fuel oil of sulphur content not exceeding 0.10%. From January 1st 2022, ships entering Hainan waters within China emission control areas must use fuel oil of sulphur content not exceeding 0.10%.

From March 1st 2020, vessels entering waters under the jurisdiction of China are not allowed to carry fuel oil of sulphur content exceeding 0.50% on board ships.

Credit: China Maritime Safety Administration

For ships using alternative measures complying with the equivalents requirement as set out in MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 4, these requirements can be exempted. Alternative measures mean ships that use any installation, appliance or alternative fuels capable of achieving the same or better emission reduction level compared to that required by regulations.

Moreover, from January 1st 2020, ships are prohibited to discharge wash water from open-loop scrubbers in China emission control areas.

Credit: China Maritime Safety Administration

Use and carriage of non-compliant fuel by ships

From January 1st 2020 onward, a China-flagged ship using or carrying non-compliant fuel oil becaise non-availability of compliant fuel oil must:

  • Immediately report to the MSA of ship's homeport and submit Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) to the competent authority of the next arrival port if it is a foreign port;
  • Submit FONAR to the MSA of next arrival port if it is a China domestic port.

The copy of FONAR is to be kept on board for at least 36 months for possible check.

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From January 1st 2020, a foreign ship using or carrying non-compliant fuel oil because of non-availability of compliant fuel oil is to submit FONAR to the MSA of next arrival port if it is a China port, before entering waters under the jurisdiction of China.

From the same date as well, a China-flagged ship must immediately submit the information of non-compliant fuel oil including the port of bunkering, supplier and test report to the MSA of ship's homeport, if it's found the quality of bunkered fuel oil does not comply with MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 or Regulation 18.

Disposal of non-compliant fuel carried on board

From March 1 st 2020 , a foreign ship carrying non-compliant fuel oil in the waters under the jurisdiction of China must:

  • Discharge the non-compliant fuel oil;
  • As permitted by the MSA of calling port, to retain the non-compliant fuel oil on board with a commitment letter stating it will not be used in waters under the jurisdiction of China.

Discharge of non-compliant fuel oil from a foreign ship must be reported to the local MSA and be performed according to the requirements on fuel oil loading/unloading as described in China's Regulations on the Prevention and Control of Marine Environment Pollution by Ships and Related Activities, as well as China's Regulations on the Prevention and Control of Marine Environment Pollution in Inland Waters by Ships. All safety and pollution precautions must be applied as well.

Recording of fuel oil suppliers

Suppliers must submit the data regarding their capacity of supplying compliant fuel oil in China ports and contact details to China MSA before November 30th 2019. After that, China MSA will submit the data to IMO. The suppliers should keep the China MSA updated if there's any change of supply capacity and other information.

Suppliers must submit relevant documents to the MSA for recording, in accordance with the requirements on suppliers' recording as described in the People's Republic of China Regulations on the Prevention and Control of Marine Environment Pollution by Ships and Related Activities, as well as China MSA Service Directory. Suppliers aiming to operate in inland waterways should report to the MSA.

Supervision and Enforcement

Site inspection will be imposed to international ships and bunkering vessels by MSA affiliate. Ships breaching this regulation will be penalized according to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution of China and this Plan, suppliers who delivered non-compliant fuel oil to ships will be reported to the relevant authority and the information will be disclosed to the public periodically.

What is more, fuel oil sampling and testing may be carried out by MSA for supervision and enforcement.

Finally, MSA affiliates will review and examine the completeness and authenticity of the FONARs submitted by ships. A ship should not be penalized, but treated in accordance with this Plan if its FONAR examined is found to be compliant and true; otherwise, penalty will be imposed in accordance with this Plan.

You may see more information in the following PDF