2020 will see several regulatory changes, with the main on being the IMO 2020 sulphur cap. However, in addition to the sulphur cap regulation, numerous other regulations will also be implemented worldwide by the IMO and ILO over the course of the year.
2020 sulphur cap
Panama, Norway, Greece and other actors are co-sponsoring a proposal originally tabled by Japan to curb the carbon intensity of existing ships through use of an Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), much like the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) which is mandatory for new ships.
IMO 2020 has been in effect since 1 January 2020. From 1 March 2020, the carriage ban on non-compliant fuel oil will enter into force, helping to support implementation of the global sulphur limit. To support the safe and consistent sampling of fuel oil being carried for use, and the enforcement of the carriage ban, IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), meeting this week (17-21 February), will finalize draft guidelines for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil carried for use on board a ship.
India has exempted very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) used by ships from import tax, federal budget documents for 2020/21 show, in an effort to reduce costs for local shipping companies.
The entry into force of the sulphur cap in the beginning of 2020 is – and will be – the highlight of the year. However, at the end of 2020, ships must comply with another very important requirement. Specifically, starting from 31 December 2020, ships above 500 GT and flying the flag of an EU/EEA member state, or third-party flagged vessels calling at European ports, must carry an Inventory Hazardous Materials (IHM) certificate on board. To shed light on this matter, DNV GL hosted a webinar, providing more information about the subject.
Enabling legislation in South Africa for the implementation of the IMO 2020, should be ready by year end, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed. Namely, Mr. Mbalula finally settled down the fears, stating categorically that the necessary legislation will be in place by the end of 2019.
In light of the approaching 2020 sulphur cap, which sees vessels using fuel containing up to 0.5% sulphur, Maersk’s Jacob A. Sterling tweeted that the cost of compliance will increase. Thus, Maersk issues a new Environmental Fuel Fee, and updates the existing Bunker Adjustment Factor.
The Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources has made a draft to amend current regulations regarding the sulphur content of fuels. If adopted, the amendments will not allow the use of heavy fuel oil within Icelandic territorial waters from the start of 2020, with fuels with only 0.1% sulphur content being allowed.
The 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) took place on 13-17 May at IMO headquarters in London, with key environmental subjects on its agenda, aimed at supporting the IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships and the implementation of 2020 sulphur cap among others.
MEPC 74 concluded on Friday with a comprehensive set of guidelines for the consistent implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap. IMO also approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI relating to enforcement of the 0.50% sulphur limit.
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