A poll of delegates at IBIA’s Annual Convention in Singapore in November suggests strong support for a proposal to introduce a ban on the carriage of bunkers exceeding the global sulphur limit.
Unni Einemo, IBIA’s IMO Representative, asked delegates at the event for their opinion during her presentation on how the International Maritime Organization plans to make the 2020 global sulphur cap a success.
Although there’s no reason why ships should have high sulphur fuel onboard after 2020, port state control officers (PSCOs) can only penalise the ship if they can prove use of non-compliant fuel within their territorial waters. A carriage ban would give PSCOs powers to take direct action.
The IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and response (PPR) will discuss measures to ensure effective implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit at a meeting in February. Several member states and shipping organisations will submit proposals to make it an offence to carry fuel above 0.50% sulphur unless the ship has approved emission abatement technology on board.
IBIA will be at that meeting to represent the bunker industry, so Einemo asked delegates to share their opinions by answering a multiple choice question. The poll question and results were as follows:
Should IBIA support a ban on the carriage of non-compliant (high sulphur) bunker fuel at IMO?
Yes we need this as soon as possible – 38%
Yes but not until good availability of compliant fuels is evident – 55%
No I think that the compliance rate will be acceptably high – 3%
No, other reason – 4%
If a carriage ban is agreed at PPR in February and sails through the approval and adoption process at the Marine Environment Protection Committee during 2018, the ban could become effective as early as early as 1 March, 2020.
While a high percentage of delegates at the IBIA Annual Convention supported a ban, many thought it would be best to make sure that availability is in place first to make sure ships are not at risk of being penalised for carrying high sulphur fuel if they weren’t able to source compliant fuel.
IBIA is still seeking opinions from members on this via an on-line poll, so if you haven’t voted yet, please do: Click on this link to have your say!