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More pressure on carriage ban of non-compliant bunker fuel

23 Jan 2018

A number of environmental and shipping organisations have made a joint decision to support a ban on vessels carrying non-compliant marine fuel coming 2020, when the sulphur cap for bunkers drop from 3.5% to 0.5%.

The entities are: BIMCO, Clean Shipping Coalition, Cruise Lines International Association, Friends of the Earth U.S., International Chamber of Shipping, International Parcel Tankers’ Association, INTERTANKO, Pacific Environment, World Shipping Council, and WWF Global Arctic Programme.

According to their joint statement, a number of international associations representing the global shipping industry, as well as the Cook Islands and Norway, have already submitted proposals to IMO to ban the carriage of non-complaint fuels. 

“These proposals call for an amendment to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, stipulating that ships should not carry fuel for propulsion with a sulphur content above 0.5% (unless they are using an approved alternative compliance method),” it said.

The 2020 sulphur cap will provide substantial environmental and human health benefits as a result of the reduced sulphur content of marine fuels used from 1 Jan 2020, they note.

However, it also significantly increases ships’ operating costs and will present major challenges to governments to consistently enforce the ban across the globe.

To secure the intended environmental and health benefits, the organisations say it is of utmost importance that enforcement of this standard is efficient and robust globally.

“Any failure by governments to ensure consistent implementation and enforcement could also lead to serious market distortion and unfair competition,” they state.

The industry proposal for the carriage ban of non-compliant marine fuel in 2020 will be considered at the next International Maritime Organization Sub Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response from 5 to 9 February.

Photo credit: Transport & Environment
Published: 23 January, 2018

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