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NMA issues Global Cruise Lines USD 80,000 fine for sulphur violations

16 May 2019

The Norwegian Maritime Authority on Wednesday (15 May) said it has issued a fine of 700,000 NOK (US $80,327) to the Greek company Global Cruise Lines Ltd due to a violation on fuel sulphur limits in the world heritage fjords.

This is the first fine issued to a company after the 1 March implementation of a 0.10 % sulphur cap on marine fuels used at the world heritage fjords Naeroyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord , it notes.

According to NMA, it received notes of concern about smoke emissions from the Bahamas-registered cruise ship the Magellan, which was berthed in Flam, on 16 April.
These were followed up by an inspection on board when the ship arrived at Geiranger the next day.

The NMA surveyors measured the sulphur content of the ship’s fuel to be 0.17 %. In the world heritage fjords, the maximum allowed sulphur content is 0.10 %.

Tracking of the vessel's AIS signal shows that the vessel made ports of call at both Eidfjord and Flam in the days preceding the port of call at Geiranger.

Both of these ports are located within the North Sea ECA. The ship came to Eidfjord from Tilbury in the UK, where it left port on 13 April.

“Our documentation shows that the ship has entered two world heritage fjords with sulphur values far beyond the legal limit values,” says Bjorn Pedersen, Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations in the NMA.

The main focus area for the NMA in 2019 is the inspection of ships, particularly cruise ships in the world heritage fjords.

Even though many cruise ship companies have invested in new, modern ships, the world heritage fjords are still being visited by many older ships. The NMA has a clear expectation that the new legislation will be complied with.

“We will have an increased presence in the world heritage fjords in the months to come, and our focus will be on making sure that the new environmental requirements are met,” says Alf Tore Sorheim, Head of Department of Operative Supervision.

“The NMA has made efforts to ensure safe and effective controls of sulphur emissions. Our surveyors are equipped with handheld devices that provide an immediate indication of whether the vessel satisfies the requirements or not.

“Moreover, we have invested in sensors which can be attached to a drone to detect sulphurous exhaust gases.”

Photo credit: Norwegian Maritime Authority
Published: 16 May, 2019


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