Although Chinese regulators have updated part of its domestic emission control area (DECA) regulations with effect from January 1st, international shipping association BIMCO has pointed out that, contrary to some reports, it has not yet placed a full ban on open-loop scrubbers.
BIMCO said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, that, according to the updated regulation, the banned areas for discharging wastewater from scrubbers remained within inland ECAs, port waters under coastal DECA and the Bohai Bay waters only.
However, BIMCO warned that a full ban on open-loop scrubbers could be adopted soon.
The updated DECA regulation supplemented the previous regulation and provided more detailed guidelines for implementation. BIMCO members were encouraged to pay attention to the following points from the new DECA regulation:
- Ships that needed to switch to low sulphur fuel had to make a fuel switch plan and keep it onboard. The switch timing, ships position, fuel sulphur content – before and after switching – as well as fuel tank data and consumption details had to be properly recorded on the ship’s Engine Log. BIMCO said that it read this as in line with IMO requirements for entering and leaving ECAs in accordance with MARPOL Annex VI.
- The discharge and disposal of water pollutants generated by ships using scrubbers had to meet the requirements of relevant regulations. It was prohibited to discharge wastewater generated by open-loop scrubbers within the inland emission control areas, port water areas of coastal emission control areas and Bohai Bay water areas.
- A yet-to-be-decided ban on wastewater generated by open-loop scrubbers within the whole of China’s domestic emission control area would be announced in due course.
- It was prohibited to discharge exhaust gas washwater residues into any current DECA water or burn them onboard.