News & Updates: Member Updates

Carriage Ban of Non-Compliant Shipping Fuel Now in Effect

Thursday, April 30, 2020  
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Consistent implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation limiting sulphur in ships’ fuel oil has been enhanced with the entry into force of a rule banning the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil on March 1, 2020.

The IMO 2020 regulation limits sulphur in ships' fuel oil to a maximum 0.50%. It been in force globally since January 1, 2020, under IMO's MARPOL treaty, with benefits for the environment and human health from a reduction in sulphur oxides in the air.

The complementary International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) amendment 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, frequently known as a scrubber, fitted.

The amendment does not change in any way the 0.50% limit. It is intended as 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 (ECAs), 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).