The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology Van AalstTelestackCleveland Cascades LtdPort of South LouisianaPort of Stockton
  • Van Aalst
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Sailors Society
  • The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology
  • Cimbria
  • Telestack

Pandemic masks sulphur compliance picture

Pandemic masks sulphur compliance picture

(Posted on 17/04/20)

It will be difficult to ascertain a full picture of how well the international shipping industry is complying with the new sulphur 2020 environmental legislation and judge the effectiveness of enforcement measures until sometime after the Covid-19 pandemic has receded, says maritime law specialist Hill Dickinson.

Introduced on January 1st this year, the implementation of Regulation 14.1.13 of Marpol Annex VI, was a key issue for the shipping industry, particularly in respect to how the sulphur cap was being observed and enforced. The horizon issue was the Carriage Ban, effective on 1 March 2020, which prevented any vessel not fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system from carrying marine fuel with a sulphur content in excess of 0.50% m/m for use on board.

Beth Bradley, a Partner with Hill Dickinson, explained: “While a few issues arose concerning the quality of the low sulphur fuel, particularly some blended fuels having a propensity to sediment, and around marginal breaches of the cap, the implementation of the global sulphur cap was progressing smoothly with reports of high levels of compliance.

“Three months on and the disruption to international shipping caused by Covid-19 has pushed sulphur cap issues well and truly from the headlines. Regulation 14.1.3 remains in force – however, where Port authorities globally are prioritising health and the movement of freight, enforcement action will perhaps be less of a priority.”

The impact of the pandemic has led to serious delays to existing orders for the retro-fitting of exhaust gas cleaning systems, particularly for those vessel where the work was to take place in Chinese shipyards, or to cancellations as owners and operators seek to cut costs.

In addition, the collapse in the oil price has eroded the price differential between high sulphur and low sulphur fuel oil, making the immediate prospect of a larger uptake of exhaust gas cleaning systems doubtful, particularly if prices remain low for a significant period of time.

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) recently announced that it was suspending vessel checks for compliance with low sulphur fuel regulations in order to keep freight moving, although it made clear that it will still inspect vessels where information is received indicating that an inspection would be appropriate. This is unlikely to be the last such announcement, predicts Ms Bradley.

Ms Bradley commented: “While the sulphur cap and the carriage ban remain in force such that owners risk enforcement action if they carry marine fuel with a sulphur content in excess of 0.50% m/m for use on board, the disruption caused by Covid-19 may reduce that risk where port state control is under pressure on other fronts. It also will make it difficult to ascertain a full picture relating to compliance and enforcement until sometime after the pandemic has receded.”

Latest News

Oldendorff Carriers invests in Alpha Ori Technologies

(Posted on 05/12/22)

Oldendorff Carriers, one of the world’s leading dry bulk operators, has signed a deal that will... Read more


NSG GAC's second Swedish ship agency acquisition this year

(Posted on 05/12/22)

GAC Group has acquired Finland-based ESL Shipping's Swedish subsidiary Norra Skeppningsgruppen (NSG),... Read more


Klaveness Digital etablishes Board of Directors

(Posted on 01/12/22)

Norwegian technology company Klaveness Digital has announced the formation of its first Board of Directors... Read more


WinGD cybersecurity type approval from DNV prepares owners for regulations

(Posted on 01/12/22)

Swiss marine power company WinGD has become the first marine engine designer to gain cybersecurity type... Read more


InterManager welcomes IMO commitment on enclosed space risks

(Posted on 29/11/22)

InterManager has welcomed a commitment by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to review guidance... Read more


North P&I faces up to turbulence with premiums rise

(Posted on 29/11/22)

North P&I Club signals intention to apply a 10% General Increase in 2023/24 premium rates amid swirling... Read more


Pioneer voyage data-sharing to enable carbon emissions reductions

(Posted on 19/11/22)

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES), BHP and DNV have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)... Read more


Safe Bulkers orders additional retrofits of Alfa Laval PureSOx

(Posted on 19/11/22)

In recent years, Greek shipowner Safe Bulkers has retrofitted Alfa Laval PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning... Read more


Fears of Nordics perfect storm unfounded says Swedish Club

(Posted on 13/11/22)

Times are difficult but no need for despair, was the message from Tore Forsmo, Area Manager, Team Norway... Read more


CSM and Marcap to focus on vessel performance optimisation

(Posted on 13/11/22)

Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) and Marine Capabilities (MARCAP LLC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding... Read more


TBA GroupSailors SocietyCimbriaViganTOC EventsBühler GmbH
  • Vigan
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Port of South Louisiana

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping