The intersessional meeting, under the auspices of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), aims to develop detailed guidelines to support consistent implementation of the 0.50% limit.

This will include guidance on preparatory and transitional issues, including:

  • Guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020;
  • Impact on fuel and machinery systems resulting from new fuel blends or fuel types; verification issues and control mechanism and actions, including port State control and in-use fuel oil samples;
  • A standard reporting format for fuel oil non-availability; and safety implications relating to the option of blending fuels.


The meeting will also consider proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to provide a verification procedure and test method for fuel oil used by ships, including the provision of a regulatory definition of "sulphur content", the verification procedure to be used when testing fuel oil used by ships and the standard for testing the fuel oil.

MEPC 72 instructed the intersessional meeting to report directly to MEPC 73 in October this year, on the development of the guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020. MEPC 73 will approve this guidance and issue it, in order to provide industry with over a year to apply it before the entry into effect of the 2020 sulphur cap.