ICS and INTERTANKO have jointly issued a call for the upcoming MEPC to to agree in principal than a final date for the 0.5% sulphur limit should be made during the 70th MEPC session.IMO MEPC 69th and 70th sessions will be held between April 18-22 2016 and October 24 to 28, 2016, respectively.
Need for early decision on the 1 January 2020 implementation date
While delivering significant health and environmental benefits, the implementation of the global 0.5% sulphur cap will nevertheless have profound implications for the economics of international shipping.
Ship operators and oil refiners will require as much time as possible to prepare for implementation. The oil refining industry will need to take important decisions to ensure that sufficient quantities of compliant fuel will be available. Shipowners will need to take important decisions inter alia about whether to invest in alternative compliance mechanisms such exhaust gas cleaning systems (‘scrubbers’) or the use of low sulphur fuels such as LNG.
The date of implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap may also affect decisions on whether or not ships will be sent for early recycling.
In view of the economic impact that the implementation date of the 0.5% sulphur cap will have on international shipping, and the decisions that need to be taken by oil refiners and shipping companies worldwide, the co-sponsors suggest that it is vital that the Organization takes a clear decision about whether or not implementation will take place on 1 January 2020, and that this decision should be made as soon as possible – ideally at MEPC 70.
The co-sponsors request that the Committee, at MEPC 69, should agree in principle that a final decision on the date of the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap will be taken at MEPC 70, so that maritime administrations and industry can prepare and plan accordingly.