• 2019 June 29 14:19

    IMO hosts roundtable industry meeting ahead of 'sulphur 2020' rule coming into force

    New requirements for ships to cut sulphur oxide emissions enter into effect on 1 January 2020, marking a sea change in fuel used by ships, globally, which will significantly reduce air pollution from ships with positive benefits for human health and the environment, IMO said in a press release.

    IMO has been preparing ahead of the implementation date. From 1 January 2020, under IMO's MARPOL convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, the sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas shall not exceed 0.50% - representing an 80% cut from the current 3.50% limit.    

    At a roundtable industry meeting hosted by IMO at its London Headquarters (21 June), participants were updated on the latest guidance, treaty amendments and other instruments emanating from IMO to support the implementation of the "sulphur 2020" rule. All of these have been developed by Member States working through IMO, in collaboration with stakeholders, recognising the need for cooperation in order to develop and deliver technically robust instruments for international shipping.

    The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-Kitack Lim and was attended by representatives from IMO Secretariat and: International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); BIMCO; Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF); International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO); International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO); IPIECA; The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST); International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA).

    Industry participants from the shipping, oil refinery and bunker industries welcomed with appreciation the effort made by IMO to address concerns and reviewed progress towards implementation.

    The IMO Secretariat highlighted the latest decisions emanating from IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74), including adoption of guidelines on consistent implementation, port State control and other guidance; and from the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 101), including the adoption of Recommended interim measures to enhance the safety of ships relating to the use of oil fuel.

    Industry participants reported on their work, including the latest version of the ICS Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 'Global Sulphur Cap' which will be published in the first week of July 2019; a Joint Industry Project developing industry guidelines with a focus on safety to support implementation, including training; updated charter clauses developed to address sulphur 2020 and fuel issues; investment by the oil refining industry in new blends of fuel oil to meet the limit; and potentially linking sulphur 2020 provisions with current ship inspection programmes.

    Participants recalled that 1 January 2020 is now less than six months away and expressed their commitment to enhancing collaboration, including further information sharing among stakeholders, as appropriate, to make a smooth transition to the 0.50% limit, recognizing the benefits for human health and the environment.

    Availability of compliant fuel oil

    Views were exchanged on the general availability of fuel to meet the 0.50% limit, with ships expected to begin taking on 0.50% low sulphur blended fuels from October/November onwards, in order to be ready for 1 January 2020. A forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA), in April 2019 forecasts that the refineries will have capacity to make the compliant fuel oil available. Compliant fuel oil has already been made available for testing by some ships.

    The roundtable participants urged the need for the oil refinery and bunker industry to continue, and strengthen where possible, their efforts to provide sufficient compliant fuels as early as possible to allow more ships to test trial for experience gaining. There was also a need for more information on the new fuel products to be made widely available.

    Fuel oil safety

    Potential safety issues with new blends of fuel oil have been recognised and IMO guidelines provide advice on steps to take to address those risks.  

    It was noted that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been developing a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limit. The PAS will provide additional guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for fuels for use in marine diesel engines and boilers, for example, compatibility and stability of new blends of fuel oil.

    The roundtable participants highlighted the need to provide further information on arising safety issues and to enhance crew training in anticipation of the new fuels being made available before the end of 2019, and to highlight the safety aspects in particular.

    Enforcement and compliance

    Consistent enforcement by port State control was recognised as essential to ensure a level playing field and ensure the shipping market would not become distorted. Participants acknowledged the adoption of relevant 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI chapter 3. The IMO Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III 6) meets 1-5 July and could provide an opportunity for information sharing by port State control regimes.

    Reporting to IMO and information sharing

    Participants recognized the need to further improve reporting and information sharing through the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information system (GISIS). MARPOL Annex VI requires information to be provided, including on fuel oil availability, incidents of non-availability of compliant fuel oil and fuel oil quality. Work is already under way to review the current MARPOL Annex VI module to provide greater scope for data entry and to make the module more user friendly.

    Raising awareness

    Participants agreed on the need to continue to raise awareness about sulphur 2020.

    An open source free to access e-learning course is being developed through the joint industry project, for use by seafarers and others. The course will offer three modules, the first will focus on IMO Guidance on the development of a ship implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI (MEPC.1/Circ.878).

    A new IMO leaflet (download here) outlines the requirement, answers the most frequently asked questions about the rule and provides a list of the instruments supporting implementation, best practice guidance, port State control and sampling guidelines and others.

    IMO will publish a compilation of all related guidance, best practices and so on, as a single IMO publication (hard copy and electronic formats) later this year.  

    IMO conference on 2020 and alternative fuels

    IMO plans to hold a conference in October 2019 with wide participation from stakeholders, to provide updates on planning for 2020. The conference will also include a session on the latest developments regarding alternative fuels and low carbon technologies.

    IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

2020 August 4

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17:45 Klaveness Combination Carriers takes delivery of the fourth CLEANBU vessel
17:03 Tallink Grupp publishes July 2020 passenger and cargo statistics
16:58 ADNOC L&S and Wanhua Chemical Group form Strategic Shipping Joint Venture
16:33 Dredging of Utrenny LNG terminal’s basin kicked off
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14:02 Stena Line starts new service Liepaja - Karlskrona - Travemünde
13:26 MRA sets its sights on distance training
13:12 DEME repatriates 75 Philippine crew members from 12 vessels worldwide by charter flight from Brussels South to Manila
12:15 Evergreen joins the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative
11:07 The port of Kiel starts the Cruise Season 2020
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09:36 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 31
09:30 Crude oil futures become cheaper
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2020 August 3

18:43 CMA CGM announces Peak Season Surcharge rates from North Europe to Indian Subcontinent
18:06 Total seven-month cargo traffic in Azov-Don basin in Jan-Jul down 6%
17:55 Inmarsat, Thetius and Shell Shipping and Maritime launch 'Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge'
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15:26 RZD seven-month loaded freight down 4.4%
14:18 Ust-Luga Company wins the Ust-Luga Cup 2020
13:24 Borr Drilling Limited enters into a new contract and LOIs for three rigs
13:08 Long-awaited project of Kalmykia’s Lagan Port becomes part of the federal transport territorial planning
12:46 MSC Cruises and Palumbo Group form joint venture to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard
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12:20 RZD to resume traffic via new rail bridge across the Kola as of October 1
11:46 Eagle Bulk reports the successful resolution of security incident onboard vessel
11:10 Buyan-class corvette Grayvoron departs for Novorossiysk sea trials base
09:48 Crude futures prices edge down
09:41 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 03
09:16 Baltic Dry Index as of July 31

2020 August 2

16:03 Kirby Corporation announces 2Q, 2020 Results
15:31 Bollinger delivers second of three USCG FRCs to be home-ported in Guam
14:37 Dennis de Bruin appointed Managing Director of Commercial Shipping Europe
13:52 ABS supports global offshore wind development with updated guidance
12:35 USCG sets port condition Zulu for Ports of Miami and Key West
11:24 Tony Goldsmith announced as new head of marine at law firm Hill Dickinson as David Wareing steps down
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2020 August 1

14:21 U.S. appoints coordinator for the Arctic Region
13:14 CMA CGM announces GRR for Asia-West Africa trade
12:44 Polarcus awarded 3D project in Asia Pacific
11:31 Pacific Basin announces 2020 interim results
10:53 EBRD supports decarbonisation of energy sector in Cyprus

2020 July 31

18:26 Fincantieri BOD approves 1H 2020 results
18:07 Vostochnaya Verf to launch 03141-series first crab catcher in autumn 2020
17:36 Holland America Line changes name of newbuild to Iconic Rotterdam and designates it the new flagship
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15:36 Port of Vancouver USA receives longest wind blades ever
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