Bunkerers Join in Concerns Over Global Sulphur Regs

File image courtesy Shipwright

By MarEx 2016-03-14 21:07:30

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has agreed to partner with the Trident Alliance to raise mutual concerns about the potential for uneven enforcement of the worldwide cap on fuel sulfur content, due to take effect in 2020.

There is a growing debate in the industry over whether the 0.5 percent cap should be postponed until 2025; the International Chamber of Shipping is working with refiners to meet the 2020 target, under the assumption that the IMO will choose not to push back implementation. Whether it does or not, the EU is pushing ahead with equivalent low-sulphur requirements out to the 200-nm line, and has its own stringent enforcement framework in place.

Trident says that uniform enforcement is important, and that it will not be easy to achieve. “The 0.1% sulphur limit in Emission Control Areas has now been in place for over a year, and still significant gaps in enforcement remain. However, the enforcement challenges of the ECA zones pale in comparison to what authorities will face at the implementation of the Global Sulphur Cap. Given how critical it is for both environment and business, this challenge cannot be shied away from no matter how difficult it may be to resolve”, said Anna Larsson, Chair of the Trident Alliance.

IBIA is concerned by the fact that flag states are tasked with enforcement under the current IMO regulation, and “believe[s] that there needs to be more clarity about the legal framework and the areas of jurisdiction,” said Peter Hall, CEO of IBIA. Trident and IBIA intend to promote full compliance worldwide, ensuring that rule-abiding ship operators are not at a disadvantage to less scrupulous operators using cheaper, higher sulphur bunkers, they say.

“By speaking with a united voice we can press for transparent and robust enforcement of sulphur regulations, which will address those that try to evade the system rather than penalise minor transgressions,” said Hall.