New study says available test evidence is insufficient to estimate compliance levels across the ECAs
An interim report by the UK-based Seafarers International Research Centre has recommended that the country’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency should test bunkers for sulphur content and not just rely, as at present, on documentary evidence.
The report, Pollution Controls: the Case of the Governance of Ship Emissions is of a continuing study examines the effectiveness of international regulations on ships’ sulphur emissions, based on observation of ship inspections in the UK and Sweden and on interviews with regulators, inspectors and industry stakeholders.
The study finds: “There is currently a ‘culture of compliance’ in the industry, with the proportion of ship
detentions as a percentage of Paris MoU inspections falling from 9% in 2001 to just 3% in 2010.” It also says that only fragmentary lab-test evidence of compliance levels is available.
It says that, in the first quarter of 2011, 18% of samples, collected in Western Europe and the Baltic and sent to one large commercial lab testing agency, proved to have non-compliant sulphur levels. Most of these samples were only marginally off-spec, and there were considerable local differences, with only 7% of Rotterdam samples being off-spec. Test results on 149 samples collected by the Swedish Maritime Administration (partly quasi randomly and partly during Port-State inspections) showed only 4% were non-compliant (allowing for a margin of error of +/- 0.05%). It concludes: “Overall, the available test evidence is insufficient to estimate compliance levels across the ECAs as a whole.”
Among other recommendation the report says that all EU countries should inform the European Commission of all vessels found to be non-compliant with the 0.1% sulphur port fuel regulations, and that these cases appear on the Equasis database.
The authors of the report added: “We note the possibility that bunker deliveries be recorded electronically. In the absence of an agreement on electronic recording, we recommend that agreement should be sought at IMO on a new format for the Bunker Fuel Delivery Note. Consideration should be given to the following propositions: (a) that the BFDN should be in English; (b) that it should always state the sulphur content; (c) that the Registration Number of the bunkerer be recorded (whether or not delivery is by a sub-contractor); and (d) that the material of the BFDN be such that erasures or alterations to the note be visibly obvious.”
Source: World Bunkering
You can view the report, by clicking here