Since December 2016, AMSA has conducted 113 compliance checks on 53 cruise ships, noting 100% compliance. These compliance checks indicate that less than 10% of cruise ships are utilizing the option of fitting scrubbers with the majority using low sulphur fuel.
Following a relatively smooth implementation of the main part of the IMO 2020 regulation, the next level of the non-compliant fuel carriage ban has now entered into force. Starting from 1st March 2020, ships are banned from even carrying fuel that contains a sulphur content higher than 0.5%, unless there is a scrubber installed.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reminds members and interested parties that from March 1st, 2020, all vessels are prohibited from carrying fuel oil with a sulphur content greater than 0.50% m/m.
As the 1st March deadline for the implementation of the non-compliant fuel carriage ban approaches, shipping law firm Hill Dickinson advises ship operators to start planning now to debunker any remaining high sulphur fuel in good time.
During a visit to Copenhagen in mid-January, IBIA met with several global shipping and bunkering companies who had all started their planning and preparations to be “IMO 2020 ready” at least two years ago, validating a smooth transition to IMO 2020.
Steamship Mutual attempts to examine how compliance to the Global Sulphur Cap is to be determined; what procedures will apply and what will be used to ascertain whether bunkers on board and the operation of the ship are compliant, in relation to vessels without scrubbers or other equivalent means of compliance by reference to the IMO Guidelines available.
Following the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap implementation in January 1 2020, IMO’s Secretary General Kitack Lim commented that the transition towards the regulation has been smooth, alerting that the next target – carrying non-compliant fuel oil on board ships – is rapidly approaching.
Paris and Tokyo MoUs announced that the awareness among ships’ crews regarding the 2020 sulphur cap proved to be high, so emphasis is now placed on the fuel carriage ban requirements entering into force on 1st March 2020. Both Memoranda agreed that the requirements will be applied without exception.
According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) 29 out of 45 Singapore’s licensed bunker suppliers, have readily available 0.50% sulphur fuel oil, with all expect two having IMO 2020-compliant marine gasoil (MGO). Although, there are still several reports that some shipowners are struggling to find very low sulphur fuel (VLSFO).
Compliance is a major concern in light of the new regulations concerning pollution from shipping; whatsoever, no central policing agency as well as several countries have not signed up to them yet. Reuters reports that refiners and shipping companies are expected to spend billions of dollars in the following years in order to ensure fuel and engine compliance. Yet, as enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI, set by the UN rests with individual countries and flag states, means that for some routes and regions, compliance may be inconsistent.
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