MSC in talks with UAE on banning of MSC Joanna for carrying HSFO

Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is in talks with officials in the UAE after MSC Joanna (IMO 9304435) was banned from entering UAE waters for carrying HSFO after the March 1st IMO deadline restricting vessels to both the use and carriage of fuel with a sulphur level above 0.50%

The move by the UAE was one of the first punitive actions taken by a jurisdiction since regulations against use of HSFO came into effect in January and carriage came into effect on March 1st.

Vessels were only permitted to carry high sulphur fuel from March 1st if they had a scrubber onboard.

The UAE’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) advised on March 16th that the MSC Joanna had been banned operating in its waters for one year and had banned the vessel’s captain from working on any ships calling at UAE ports. Reuters reported that the UAE said it had commenced legal action against the master for violating the regulations.

The FTA advisory stated that the vessel was found to be carrying more than 700mt of HSFO when it was boarded by officials at Jebel Ali port, despite having been given a repeated warning in advance to de-bunker the non-compliant fuel before arrival.

MSC has said that it was holding discussions with the FTA. MSC noted that the vessel had only used compliant low sulphur fuel since January.

MSC also said many shipyards in China, where scrubber installations were meant to take place, had been delayed by the impact of the coronavirus, and that MSC Joanna had been one of those vessels which had been subject to an EGCS (scrubber) delay and had been carrying HSFO in a sealed tank to be ready for testing. MSC said that the scrubber installation was currently scheduled for June 2020.

2006-built, Panama-flagged, 107,849 gt MSC Joanna is owned by Joanna Compania Naviera SA care of manager MSC of Geneva, Italy. ISM manager is MSC SrL of Piano di Sorrento, Italy.