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ICS launches guide to 2020 sulphur compliance

18 Sep 2018

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a provisional guidance to aid the industry's transition towards the 2020 global sulphur cap.

The guidance focuses on implementation planning for ships intending to use low sulphur fuels to comply with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 0.50% sulphur emissions limit from 1 January 2020.

Implementation of the global cap present more complexities than the previous introduction of Emission Control Areas, ICS noted, citing a large magnitude switchover to various fuel types and quantities.There are also continuing uncertainties about the availability, safety and compatibility of compliant fuels in every port worldwide, it said.

Additionally, the possibility that some ships may need to transport and use more than one type of compliant fuel in order to operate globally could introduce compatibility challenges between different available fuel grades, among other issues.

“Shipping companies may need to start ordering compliant fuels from as early as the middle of 2019, and they are strongly recommended to commence developing implementation plans as soon as possible,” said ICS secretary general, Guy Platten.

“This need to demonstrate good faith could be particularly important in the event that safe and compliant fuels are unavailable in some ports during the initial weeks of implementation.

“And IMO has provisionally agreed that Port State Control authorities may take into account the ship’s implementation plan when verifying compliance with the 0.5% sulphur limit.”

The Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ for Ships’ Fuel Oil in Accordance with MARPOL Annex VI may be downloaded here:


Published: 18 September, 2018



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