The Union of Greek Ship Owners applauds MSC’s 101 decision on adopting an action plan for mandatory measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of fuel oil, as well as Resolution MSC.465(101) recommending as a matter of urgency governments to, inter alia, take action against oil fuel suppliers in confirmed cases of deliveries of fuel oil that does not comply with the minimum flashpoint as required by the SOLAS Convention.
As the President of UGS, Mr Theodore Veniamis commented
We are especially pleased that the pressing and genuine concerns about the safety and liability issues of the 0.5% Sulphur marine fuels, first voiced and in strong terms by the UGS, were not overridden by commercial interests.
He continued that the Union is equally pleased that the UN IMO fully recognized that the responsibility and liability for the provision of safe compliant fuels lie with the bunker fuel supply chain.
However, despite these developments, the Union is concerned over the approaching-2020 sulphur cap, as there’s no guarantee that safe compliant marine fuels will be globally available.
This predicament, whereby the UN IMO has introduced a global regulation that the international fleet is obliged tο comply with but cannot do so properly and safely because other stakeholders (oil companies, refineries, bunker suppliers), which the UN IMO does not regulate, have not lived up to their contingent responsibilities, is untenable and has created a serious anomaly and precedent which must be urgently addressed at the highest political level
… Mr Veniamis added.
Concluding, the UN IMO MSC 101 concluded on the need to establish and implement an appropriate Action Plan to deal with all the critical parameters affecting fuel oil safety, including those related with blended fuels, taking into account in all cases the latest edition of industry standards (e.g. ISO 8217:2017 and ISO/PAS when available).
It also unambiguously acknowledged the responsibility of fuel oil suppliers for the provision of safe fuels, including in the action plan mandatory requirements for suppliers’ confirmation that each actual fuel batch delivered complies with SOLAS requirements and calling for action by the governments when the flashpoint requirements are not met.