From January 1st, 2020, IMO will require ocean carriers to use low sulphur fuel that does not exceed a 0.5% of sulphur content or install scrubbers to continue using high sulphur with 3.5% sulphur content.

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For ocean shipping lines this means that ship fuel costs could increase by as much as one third, with estimates varying between $10 to $15 billion dollars per year in additional costs for their industry.

For this reason, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will be monitoring how these companies will attempt to pass on part or all of these costs to cargo shippers, especially if economic growth and container demand falls.

As FMC said, it will be keeping an eye on this issue in order to ensure an efficient marketplace, as well as compliance of carrier efforts with the Shipping act to recover costs related with the new standards.

Specifically, FMC is mainly aiming to make sure that ocean carrier bunker charge adjustment formulas are clear and definite, FMC Chairman Michael Khouri informed.