The USCG Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance launched a Marine Safety Information Bulletin, the ‘New Procedure for Shipping Industry to Notify the US Government of Non Availability of Compliant Fuel Oil.’
In general, the notice concerns owners and operators of vessels operating in the North American (NA) or U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area (ECA), that are unable to acquire sufficient MARPOL Annex VI compliant fuel oil at a foreign or U.S. port may satisfy the MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 18.2.4 requirement to notify the competent authority of the relevant port of destination by notifying the cognizant U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP). Effective June 30, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will stop accepting Fuel Oil Non-Availability Reports (FONARs).
The marine notice alerts that in possibility of failing to make the notifications required by MARPOL Annex VI, 18.2.4 may result in a vessel control (e.g., detention) and/or enforcement action.
Although there’s no specific format on the notification, the owner or operator should be ready to present a record of the actions taken to achieve compliance, including evidence that they attempted to purchase compliant fuel oil in accordance with the vessel’s voyage plan.
Ship owners and operators are reminded that the sulphur content of any fuel oil used onboard ships within the NA or U.S. Caribbean Sea ECAs will not change when the worldwide sulphur cap is reduced on January 1, 2020.
For more information on the Notice, you may click on the PDF herebelow