The much reported MARPOL Annex VI regulation (a.k.a IMO2020) which was implemented to lower the current global limit for sulphur content of marine fuels from 3.50% to 0.50% came into effect on 1st January 2020..
As of 1st March 2020, the complementary International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form ships (MARPOL) amendment (Carriage Ban) came into effect..
The IMO Carriage Ban prohibits the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship – unless the ship has an approved exhaust gas cleaning system (“scrubber”) fitted..
As from this date it will be considered an offense for any ship to be carrying fuel that contains sulphur content higher than 0.5 percent for purposes of propulsion or operation, unless the ship has a scrubber..
After this date, port state control of the various parties to the IMO have the full liberty to check the bunker tanks of ships for non-compliant fuel.. It will be easy for Port State Control (PSC) officers to track defaulting ships because ships using HSFO without scrubbers can be easily identified..
As per a press release, the IMO Carriage Ban is intended to be an additional measure to support consistent implementation and compliance and provide a means for effective enforcement by States, particularly port State control..
In designated emission control areas (ECA), the maximum sulphur limit in fuel oil is 0.10 % (the four ECAs are: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands))..
IMO has also released an infographic on 5 beneficial changes from IMO’s Sulphur Limit for ships’ fuel oil
- Cleaner air – 77% drop in overall sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships – annual reduction of approximately 8.5 million metric tonnes of SOx
- Positive impacts on human health – Premature deaths, cardiovascular, respiratory and pulmonary diseases will all be reduced
- Higher quality fuels – The majority of ships will switch to higher quality, low sulphur fuel oil to meet the limit.
- Ship operators, owners + refineries have adapted – Guidance issued by IMO and other stakeholders to enhance preparedness ahead of the entry into force of Sulphur 2020
- Changes for enforcement authorities Flag and port State control will be making sure ships are compliant.