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ICS reminder: Ships can be detained under IMO 2020 rule from 1 March

02 Mar 2020

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) on Monday (2 March) issued a news update cautioning the shipping industry port state control authorities will begin enforcing the IMO 2020 Sulphur rule from  1 March, making it an offense for ships to carry fuel that contains a sulphur content higher than 0.5% unless the ship has an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System:

The International Chamber of Shipping reminds shipowners and operators of the impending ban and reiterates the fact that any ships found to be non-compliant face the prospect of detention.

As of March 1st, enforcement agencies will no longer have to prove usage. 

Showing that vessels without Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems have non compliant fuel aboard will be enough to prove a violation. 

Major port state regimes including Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), have made it plain that they will rigorously enforce the requirements.

“Since the introduction of IMO 2020 on 1st January, ships have been given a ‘grace period’ while the industry transitions to low-sulphur fuel,” says Guy Platten, Secretary General ICS.

“As of 1st March this will no longer be the case. Any ship found in non-compliance faces the prospect of serious fines and even detention.”

“The International Chamber of Shipping has been made aware that major port State inspection regimes including the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that detention of ships found to be non-compliant is both possible and legally permissible.”

“The information ICS has received is that shipowners are fully compliant and ready for the 1st March. We are simply reminding shipowners and operators that these new rules will come into force as of Sunday 1st March.”


Published: 2 March, 2020.

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