IMO gets call for ban on carriage of high sulfur fuel

JANUARY 22, 2018 — Leading environmental organizations and the global shipping industry have submitted a proposal to IMO calling for an explicit prohibition on the carriage of non-compliant marine fuels when the global 0.5% sulfur cap takes effect in 2020.

The proposal will be considered by at the February 9-5 meeting of IMO's Subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response and is supported by BIMCO, Clean Shipping Coalition, Cruise Lines International Association, Friends of the Earth U.S., International Chamber of Shipping, International Parcel Tankers’ Association, INTERTANKO, Pacific Environment, World Shipping Council, and WWF Global Arctic Program.

A similar proposal has also been made by Norway and the Cook Islands.

IMO has agreed that from January 1, 2020 the maximum permitted sulfur content of marine fuel (outside Emission Control Areas) will reduce from 3.5% to 0.5%.

The organizations say that unless a ship is using an approved equivalent compliance method (a scrubber), there should be no reason for it to be carrying non-compliant fuels for combustion on board.

Though the 2020 sulfur cap will provide substantial environmental and human health, it will significantly increase ships’ operating costs and will present major challenges to governments that must ensure consistent enforcement across the globe.

To secure the intended environmental and health benefits, the organizations say it is of utmost importance that enforcement of this standard is efficient and robust globally. Any failure by governments to ensure consistent implementation and enforcement could also lead to serious market distortion and unfair competition.

Read the industry proposal HERE.