China Shipowners’ Association (CSOA), comprising more than 200 member companies, have issued a draft proposal to Beijing requesting a temporary reprieve from the IMO 2020, reports by The Standard P&I Club say.

The IMO 2020 requires ships to run on fuel containing no more than 0,5% m/m of sulphur, unless they have a scrubber installed.

Such submission is in anticipation of a potential shortage of low-sulphur fuel oil provisions in China, alongside ongoing financial concerns as coronavirus’ impact on the economy continues to deepen.

This follows a series of other proposed measures by Chinese shipowners, including tax cuts that could ease the financial pressure of coronavirus on shipping.

Despite such application, there are concerns within the wider industry that any suspension of the sulphur cap could cause long term difficulties in respect of China’s reputation and status as a key country in the LSFO supply chain,

...informed Lisa Jenkins, Claims Executive, and Maria Mourtzanou, Claims Assistant, at The Standard Club.

It is yet unclear whether the suspension, if granted, would apply to non-Chinese entities.