"Sulphur content in fuel is something the directorate focuses on, both because of the environmental challenges that sulfur entails, but also to ensure that no vessel benefits from using less expensive sulfur fuel, "says Alf Tore Sørheim, who heads sub-department inspection and emergency preparedness.

In order to ensure that the result is correct before a final assessment of the violation fee is taken, the authorities took samples of the fuel to be submitted for analysis.

The new sulphur rules target to reduce sulfur oxide emissions in some of the most trafficked areas in Europe. It is assumed that the reduction from 1% to 0.1% will halt air pollution in these areas, where sulfur oxides emissions from international shipping have doubled from 1990 to 2010.

"The new requirements for the sulfur content have led to increased shipping costs. There is a significant price difference between high-sulfur fuel (HSFO) and low-sulfur fuel (LSFO), so that effective enforcement of the rules is important to ensure the level of competitive conditions for the industry," the Authority noted.