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News / Legal/ Trident Alliance: Indonesia IMO 2020 non-compliance ‘extremely unhelpful’

Trident Alliance: Indonesia IMO 2020 non-compliance ‘extremely unhelpful’

01 Aug 2019
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The Trident Alliance, a coalition of shipping owners and operators, campaigning for robust enforcement of IMO 2020 maritime sulphur regulations on Wednesday (31 July) issued a statement in response to a decision of IMO 2020 non-compliance by Indonesia.

Indonesia will allow the consumption of 3.5% sulphur limit marine fuel within its domestic shipping trade from 2020 onwards.

Due to compliance cost, The Trident Alliance believes it is essential for authorities to fully and effectively enforce the regulations if fair competition is to be maintained, and to protect health and environmental interests.

“The only surefire way to successfully implement the new global sulphur cap is follow the regulations to the letter,” says Trident Alliance Chair, Roger Strevens.

“Any local deviations from this would create unfair competition and may lead to non-compliance on a wider scale. Furthermore, it is extremely unhelpful to make such decisions so late in the day given the expense and effort the industry has already expended in preparing.”

According to the coalition, shipping is a global industry and therefore benefits from a global regulatory approach.

For the new sulphur cap it is also vital to have effective enforcement worldwide due to the high compliance cost and because there are no hard boundaries between domestic and international shipping.

Vessels in international trade can compete with those operating in domestic trades on some voyage legs.

Internationally trading vessels that commit a violation within Indonesian waters could be sanctioned for it by other port states at a later point in their voyage, hence they could not revert to the older and cheaper 3.50%S level.

Aside from the unfair distortion to the competitive landscape, it is unclear how a failure or refusal to enforce the new sulphur cap would not expose a state to legal consequences.

States, such as Indonesia, that are party to IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI do not have the facility to exempt merchant vessels from compliance. Additionally, states party to Annex 6 can be held liable for non-enforcement by the other states that are party to it.

“The Trident Alliance, strongly urges any state contemplating partial enforcement to reconsider in favour of the only approach that makes lasting sense on a moral, legal and business basis; full and effective enforcement,” concludes Strevens.

Recent media coverage of Indonesia’s IMO 2020 non-compliance was first reported by Singapore bunker publication Manifold Times on 19 July.

Related: Indonesia: Domestic use of 3.5% sulphur marine fuel possible through legal loophole
RelatedIndonesia: Use of 3.5% sulphur marine fuel approved for domestic trade
RelatedIndonesia: Decision to allow domestic consumption of 3.5%S marine fuel ‘makes sense’

Photo credit: The Trident Alliance
Published: 1 August, 2019


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