IMO 2020: Singapore detains two ships, but says most comply

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Goh Chung Hun, MPA’s Director of Marine: “Singapore is committed to reducing the environmental impact of shipping.”

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) reports that, in the first quarter of 2020, most ships calling at the Port of Singapore have complied with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 sulfur regulations that came into effect on January 1.

Pre-arrival notification submitted to the MPA from January to March 2020 showed that about 96% of the ships that arrived in the Port of Singapore used compliant fuel. This excludes ships installed with open-loop scrubbers that switched to using compliant fuel upon arriving in the Port of Singapore.

In the first quarter of 2020, MPA conducted a total of 326 Port State Control (PSC) and Flag State Control (FSC) inspections in the Port of Singapore. 

During these inspections, MPA found that 12 ships that were not fitted with scrubbers were using fuel that marginally exceeded the sulfur limit. This was likely due to remnant residues of high-sulfur fuel in the fuel oil tanks and piping. It is expected that in time, the fuel oil tanks and piping will be properly flushed with the continual use of compliant fuel. MPA has informed the respective managers and flag administrations of these ships about the non-compliance.

Additionally, two foreign-registered ships were found to be using non-compliant fuel. They were each issued a PSC detention order, and were only allowed to depart from the Port of Singapore after it was verified that they had switched to using compliant fuel.

In light of Singapore’s prohibition on the discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers, no ship installed with an open-loop scrubber was found to be operating its scrubber in the Port of Singapore.

SINGAPORE-REGISTERED SHIPS OUTSIDE SINGAPORE

During the first three months of 2020, there was no Singapore-registered ship detained by port state authorities for non-compliance with the IMO 2020 regulations. Two ships reported the non-availability of compliant fuel, and submitted the required Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report.

Amongst the small number of Singapore-registered ships installed with scrubbers, there were 31 reports of scrubber malfunction as at February 29, 2020.

Mr. Goh Chung Hun, MPA’s Director of Marine, said, “As a leading maritime nation, Singapore is committed to reducing the environmental impact of shipping. By engaging the industry proactively, providing the necessary technical guidance and maintaining an adequate supply of compliant fuel in Singapore, we have ensured a high degree of compliance with IMO 2020 sulfur regulations. Singapore will continue to play its part to make shipping clean and sustainable.”

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