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2020: Marshall Islands highlights ‘safety concerns’

03 Jun 2018

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Intersessional Working Group (ISWG) focusing on safety aspects regarding the implementation of the 2020 global fuel oil sulphur standard.

“The RMI’s submission to the IMO provides technical information focusing on safety implications and challenges associated with using new fuel oil blends compliant with the new 0.50% sulphur fuel oil standard,” it states.

“The technical information, detailed in the Annex to the submission, aims to cover a wide range of safety aspects associated with the switch to 2020 fuels such as potential issues with blend components, stability, compatibility and other fuel oil parameters.

“All of these issues are viewed as having the potential to negatively impact fuel and machinery systems.

“Accordingly, the technical information also touches upon operational and technical measures to address risks during fuel switching, tank cleaning and fuel system arrangements (heating capacities and tank segregation).

“The information is intended to facilitate informed decision making as the ISWG addresses preparatory and transitional issues.”

According to RMI, the paper is intended to assist the ISWG in developing guidelines on the implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI.

The submission was co-sponsored by the Republic of Liberia, the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), and the World Shipping Council (WSC).

The co-sponsors recommend any consequential regulatory amendments and/or guidelines necessary to address the safety issues raised in the submission should be brought to the attention of the MEPC at its next session in October 2018.

They also propose any potential safety implications resulting from new blends or fuel types to be reported to the next session of the Marine Safety Committee (MSC) in December 2018.

“This paper allows the shipping community to have a voice in the development of rules that shape our industry,” states Theo Xenakoudis, Director, Worldwide Business Operations, International Registries, Inc. (IRI).

“We are happy to be the catalyst for smart regulation that has been crafted with careful consideration from everyone it effects.

“Shipowners in particular will bear the impact of this transition and this will hopefully resolve some of the concerns about the regulation.”

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Publication date: 4 June, 2018


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