Should IBIA support an IMO ban carriage of high sulphur bunkers? Still time to vote!
IBIA has consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and there are many important questions coming up for discussion as the IMO looks at ways to ensure the 0.50% sulphur limit taking effect in 2020 is effectively implemented. We are seeking opinions from our members on one of the proposals to be discussed at the IMO during 2018.
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. The intent is to make enforcement more effective.
If you read the item in our recent IBIA member newsletter about this, you will know that MARPOL Annex VI does not ban a ship from carrying bunkers with high sulphur, it only regulates sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions which have to be met either through using low sulphur fuel or cleaning SOx out of the exhaust gas.
There are already some safeguards in place to prevent ships from taking on bunkers above 0.50% sulphur post 1 January 2020. A ship has to identify in its International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Certificate whether it uses compliant fuel oil or has an approved equivalent arrangement (e.g. a scrubber). And from 1 January 2019, amendments to appendix V of MARPOL Annex VI regarding information to be included in the bunker delivery note (BDN) requires suppliers to obtain a notification from the purchaser when they order fuel oil exceeding 0.50% sulphur, that this fuel is intended for use only in combination with an equivalent means of compliance or the ship has a relevant exemption to conduct trials of SOx emission reduction technology.
Nevertheless, as discussed at a recent IBIA forum, there are doubts about how effectively MARPOL Annex VI can be enforced.
In February 2018, the 5th session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5) is set to discuss measures to “promote consistent implementation of the 0.50% global sulphur limit” that takes effect from the start of 2020. The ban on carriage of non-compliant bunkers will be on the agenda.
In theory, if a regulatory change to introduce such a carriage ban was agreed at PPR 5, approved by the Marine Environment Protection Committee at its 72nd session in April, and formally adopted at MEPC 73 in October next year, it could enter into force as soon as March 1, 2020.
Do you think IBIA should support such a ban at the IMO? To gauge your opinion, we have set up a poll. Click on this link to have your say!