Demand for prohibition on carriage of non-compliant marine fuels

The global 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel, which will come into effect at the start of 2020, has led to calls for a prohibition on the carriage of non-compliant marine fuels, due to concerns that the cap will not achieve the desired benefits unless it can be consistently enforced.

A proposal has been made to the IMO that would entail an amendment to Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), stipulating that the sulphur content of any fuel oil carried for use on board ships would not exceed 0.50% m/m sulphur, unless they are using an approved alternative compliance method such as scrubbers.

Increased ship owners’ costs in complying with the prohibition, and the fear that an inability of Governments to enforce the prohibition consistently could lead to “market distortion and unfair competition”, shipping association BIMCO said late last month.