With only 15 months to
get ready for the 2020 sulphur cap, Liberia has called on the International
Maritime Organization to help facilitate early reporting on the availability of
compliant marine fuel.
country submitted a paper to the IMO Marine Environment Protection
Committee (MEPC) urging that the report becomes available well in advance
of January 1 2020, the effective date the new fuel oil must be used on board
means that states should report to IMO which of their ports and terminals have
the compliant fuels available for bunkering, so shipowners are informed in
time. In order to do so, IMO has established Global Integrated Shipping
Information System (GISIS) through which the states can report on the fuel
“Shipowners and operators hold a
disproportionate responsibility in meeting the challenges associated with
implementation of the 0.50 percent m/m global fuel oil sulphur limit and should
not need to guess where or whether compliant fuel will be available,” David
Pascoe, Senior VP, Maritime Operations and Standards, Liberian International
Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), said.
insists that smooth and effective implementation requires co-operation and
compliance by all stakeholders, including states and fuel oil suppliers.
“We are therefore urging IMO to issue a
resolution or circular calling on states to report the availability of
compliant fuel oil well in advance of 1 January 2020 to help shipowners and
operators meet their responsibilities and to gain experience on the carriage
and use of the new fuels on their ships, to test implementation plans, and to
assist in a smooth and effective transition to the new regulatory
requirements,” he added.
that end, Liberia, together with major flags and industry organizations, has
submitted a paper to IMO proposing the establishment of an Experience
Building Phase (EBP) to help address the safety implications and other
challenges associated with 2020-compliant fuels.
Liberian Registry said that “contrary to some inaccurate media
reports, the paper proposing the EBP is not intended to delay the 2020
potential delay to the enforcement date has been a heated topic over the recent
period as owners are worried whether the compliant fuels would be available,
and even so, whether the new fuel will be safe to use, taking into account the
most recent issues caused by contaminated bunkers.
IMO, on the other hand, is standing its ground on the “no delay” stance.
Speaking at this year’s Posidonia and SMM, the organization’s Secretary-General
Kitack Lim repeated that the date of enforcement will not be changed.
the recent media reports on the potential delay, IMO’s Edmund Hughes,
said while addressing the present at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference
there would be no delay to the sulphur cap.
Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) that meets on October 22 is
expected to approve ship implementation planning guidance as well as best
practice guides for member and coastal states and for fuel oil suppliers.
MEPC is also expected to adopt a complementary MARPOL amendment aimed at
supporting implementation of the January 1, 2020 0.50% limit. This amendment
will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil – unless the ship has a scrubber