Canada begins sampling and testing fuels to verify ECA compliance
Transport Canada has announced that Marine Safety Inspectors will start verifying compliance with the 0.10% sulphur limit in the North American Emission Control Area (NA-ECA) through on-site fuel sampling and testing, effective 22 August 22, 2016.
“Since most vessels must use more expensive low sulphur fuel oil to comply with these standards compared to vessels operating outside of ECAs under MARPOL, Transport Canada will rigorously monitor vessels to ensure they are complying with the NA-ECA standards,” it said in a Ship Safety Bulletin.
It means that during an inspection, a Marine Safety Inspector may require a sample of fuel from the ship’s engine fuel system for analysis.
It appears the initial measurement would be done by inspectors using portable fuel analyzers onboard vessels.
“Depending on the results of the analysis, the inspector may also forward the samples to an accredited laboratory to confirm compliance with the fuel oil sulphur content requirements. If the analyzer is not available, the inspector may forward the fuel sample directly to the laboratory for analysis,” said Transport Canada.
“Test results will help inspectors make informed decisions on the next enforcement steps during the course of the inspection,” it added.
Any vessels operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction that are using petroleum-based fuels can be subjected to the fuel sampling and sulphur verification process.
It will not apply to vessels using alternative compliance methods, or vessels with waivers issued under Regulation 3 or 4 of Annex VI to MARPOL, the Canadian authority added.
It will also refrain from monitoring “a foreign vessel powered by a propulsion boiler that was not originally designed for continued operation on marine distillate fuel or natural gas”.
As IBIA reported in July, a pilot voluntary fuel sampling programme undertaken in the US during March this year suggested good industry compliance with the 0.10% sulphur both with regards to ships and bunker suppliers.