• 2018 April 16 17:05

    IMO on track to introduce high sulphur fuel carriage ban from March 2020

    Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to prohibit not just the use, but also carriage of bunkers above 0.50% sulphur, have been agreed this week, taking into account a request from IBIA and IPIECA to slightly modify the regulatory text to make sure it doesn’t unintentionally prevent bunker barges from carrying high sulphur bunker fuel for delivery to ships with scrubbers, IBIA said in its press release.

    The carriage ban was initially discussed in plenary at the 72nd session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) on Tuesday, using amended regulatory text developed by the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5) in February.

    The key issue up for consideration was whether to go ahead with the amendment, which, if formally adopted at MEPC 73 in October this year, means a carriage ban can take effect as early as 1 March, 2020.

    For some, that is too early. A number of countries argued for deferring the carriage ban until a later date due to uncertainty about the availability of compliant fuels in 2020, and concerns about the safety of the fuels on offer. They were advocating a phase of experience-building before not only the use of fuels above 0.50% sulphur is prohibited, but also carriage of such fuels on ships without approved equivalent arrangements such as scrubbers.

    A majority of IMO member states, however, see the carriage ban as a crucial instrument in enabling more effective enforcement of the 2020 sulphur limit and hence reduce the risk that operators will be tempted to cheat and gain a competitive advantage.

    The other issue up for discussion was the clarity of the amended text for Regulation 14, which was developed at PPR 5: “The sulphur content of any fuel oil used or carried for use on board ships shall not exceed 0.50% m/m.”

    IBIA co-sponsored a submission to MEPC 72 with IPIECA, calling for a small modification to prevent unintended consequences because this could be read as not allowing bunker barges to carry “fuel oil for use on ships” with above 0.50% sulphur content.

    IBIA proposal received strong support as the need for a clear, unambiguous text was recognised. The text eventually agreed, following deliberations in the Air Pollution Working Group, was as follows: “The sulphur content of fuel oil used or carried for use on board a ship shall not exceed 0.50% m/m.”

    There was also discussion regarding whether there was a need to include a reference in this part of the MARPOL regulation to show a clear link to the regulation 4.1 of MARPOL Annex VI on equivalent means, to make it crystal clear that the carriage ban does not apply to ships equipped with approved abatement technology such as scrubbers.

    While there was some support for this, on balance, it was deemed unnecessary and would open the door to having to add cross-references to regulation 4.1 throughout other parts of the MARPOL Annex VI regulation.

    Besides, some argued, the regulation will be clearly understood by the authorities in charge of enforcing it. The ship’s IAPP certificate will clearly state whether the ship has an approved equivalent arrangement.

    One member state, however, reserved its position on this and may propose an editorial amendment to MEPC 73 to make the exemption from the carriage ban for ships with scrubbers more explicit.

    Apart from the amendment of Regulation 14 to prevent not just the use, but also the carriage of fuel oil above 0.50% sulphur, the amended text to be adopted has been shortened significantly as mentions of previous sulphur limits in emission control areas (ECAs) and outside ECAs will be redundant from the start of 2020, and hence have been removed.

    The new regulatory text only specifies the 0.50% limit under Regulation 14.1, and the 0.10% applicable in ECAs under Regulation 14.4, which has also been slightly amended to read: “While a ship is operating within an emission control area, the sulphur content of fuel oil used on board that ship shall not exceed 0.10% m/m.”

    After being formally approved at MEPC 72 this Friday, the amendments to MARPOL Annex VI are expected to be formally adopted at MEPC 73 and enter into force on 1 March, 2020.




2018 April 20

18:15 Yaroslavsky Shipyard launches yet another boom-laying boat (photo)
18:03 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to Middle East Gulf
17:47 President of Cyprus visits IMO
17:29 NOVATEK’s AGM approves 2017 dividends
17:03 SEA\LNG reiterates LNG’s central role in meeting IMO’s decarbonisation goals
16:40 SCF Group’s financing deal with VTB Bank recognized by Marine Money as a Deal of The Year
16:03 CMA CGM announces an agreement to acquire a stake in CEVA
15:36 Nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk passed control check for winter training period
15:03 MEPC 72: Proposal to mandate ISO sulphur test methods to be discussed further
14:40 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches Russia’s first dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59 (photo)
14:24 HELCOM group meets in Berlin to focus on reducing land-based pollution affecting the Baltic Sea
13:38 WMU supports IMO climate change strategy for shipping
13:02 Panama Canal transits three LNG vessels in one day
12:43 Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane to handle bulk materials in Rotterdam
11:49 2 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on April 19-20
11:26 "Safety Day" held for Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company management
11:02 Navigation on rivers and canals of Saint-Petersburg opens from April 20
10:38 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and Russian Maritime Register of Shipping discuss cooperation
10:13 Brent Crude futures price down 0.26% to $73.59, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.31% to $68.08
09:55 Marine Technics supplied a set of engines to refit gensets of vessels operating on the Yenisei river
09:34 Bunker prices are going up at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,201 points
08:07 Chairman of IACS pinpoints three key themes of the Association's strategy for the future
07:45 The Fjords takes delivery of groundbreaking zero emission vessel Future of The Fjords

2018 April 19

19:00 Okskaya Sudoverf launches lead shallow-draft tank barge of Project ROB20, Belmax 1 (photo)
18:05 Vroon's MPI Napoleon commences Baltic-Sea charter
17:05 Diana Shipping announces continuation of time charter contract and a new time charter contract with Cargill
16:39 Admiralteiskie Verfi and Roshydromet sign contract for designing and construction of North Pole ice-resistant platform (photo, graphics)
16:05 CMA CGM to apply GRI from Canada to Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent
15:15 MEYER WERFT announces delivery of cruise ship Norwegian Bliss
14:33 Maersk delivers new block train solution on Standard Gauge Railway
14:11 Global bunker market: the state of volatility remains, expert says
14:03 Samskip starts new service from Poland, Lithuania and Norway
13:20 Bibby Offshore becomes the first to deploy a pioneering diving safety system in the North Sea
13:17 Damen Dredging Equipment launches new DOP Dredger Series
13:11 Draft rules for collection of port investment due is available for public discussion (document)
12:52 Wärtsilä to provide optimised maintenance for a complete fuel gas handling system for Viking
12:08 6th Forum of Intermodal Transport FRACHT 2018 held in Gdańsk on 11-12 April
11:13 Port of Rotterdam: growth in container throughput continues in first quarter
10:49 Port of Riga introduces new cargo handling technologies
10:15 Experts forecast Russia's LNG exports to make 33 to 62 million tonnes by 2030
09:52 Brent Crude futures price up 0.6% to $73.92, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.55% to $68.85
09:34 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,124 points
09:24 APM Terminals launches integrated cold chain solutions in India
09:17 Bunker prices show no significant changes at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)

2018 April 18

18:26 Engine room fire on board Finlandia Seaways quickly under control
18:05 Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles offer seed money to foster the development of new goods-movement technologies that improve air quality
17:47 Port of Rotterdam Authority launches new Pronto application
17:25 CMA CGM implements FAK rates from East Mediterranean ports to Gulf and Red Sea
16:55 Royal IHC announces successful launching of BONNY RIVER in China
16:16 RZD Logistics and Fenix will develop transit cargo transportation via port Bronka (photo)
16:05 Jumbo names new offshore vessel Stella Synergy
15:28 Samskip brings Rotterdam into Nor Lines' flexible LNG-powered service network
15:05 CMA CGM implements GRR from Asia to West Africa
15:02 Baltiysky Zavod shipyard tested mooring facilities of Akademik Lomonosov FPU (photo)
14:59 Port of Long Beach container cargo volumes swell 14 percent in March 2018
13:37 Kazmortransflot LLP takes delivery of final Damen Shoalbuster 2709 for Caspian Sea operations
13:08 Commercial Sea Port of Ust-Luga purchased Liebherr crane as part of Yug-2 terminal modernization (photo)
12:35 Crowley completes acquisition of three SeaRiver tankers
11:47 Major ASW ships Severomorsk and Vice Admiral Kulakov practise search for submarine in Barents Sea