IMO sees smooth transition to new sulphur limit

IMO sees smooth transition to new sulphur limit
The new IMO sulphur content limit came into effect on 1 January 2020 (Image: IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reported on progress following the introduction of the 0.50% sulphur content limit in ships’ fuel oil on 1 January, revealing a relatively smooth transition to the new regulations.

As of 20 January, only 10 cases of compliant fuel being unavailable have been reported in the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System, while the secretariat has not received any correspondence reporting issues with implementation. While prices for the compliant fuels – marine gas oil and very-low sulphur fuel oil – initially rose rapidly, they now appear to be stabilising.

"I believe it is testimony to the diligence and dedication of IMO, its Member States, the shipping industry, the fuel supply industry and other relevant industries that such a major rule change is being implemented successfully without significant disruption to maritime transport and those that depend on it,” said Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the IMO.

“The next important target is fast approaching, when carrying non-compliant fuel oil onboard ships becomes prohibited on 1 March 2020,” Lim added. “I urge all shipowners, operators and masters to comply with the carriage ban, where applicable, when it comes into effect. IMO will remain vigilant and ready to respond and provide any support.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
23 January 2020

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