Angus Frew Intro - BIMCO Bulletin

Central to change

FOREWORD November 2018 Foreword States must step up on enforcement Angus frew, Secretary General & CEO at BIMCO In about 14 months, the maximum sulphur content in fuel will be capped at 0.50%. The date will not be changed and BIMCO is committed to doing as much as we can to help our members prepare and make decisions before and after 1 January 2020. BIMCO is, among other initiatives, developing a number of sulphur-related clauses, and the first ones we aim to publish in 2018. At the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) meeting in London in October, the IMO adopted a ban on the carriage of non-compliant fuel, starting 1 March 2020. This is an essential tool to ensure the highest levels of compliance with the sulphur cap. The IMO member states also agreed to collect data from the world fleet on fuel oil quality and non-availability, without delaying the implementation of the 2020 sulphur rules. This is critical to ensure the safety of our ships, as it should flag up issues as they arise. BIMCO is already working with other organisations on proposals to IMO on what and how data should be collected. In my opinion, the outcome to MEPC 73 was most satisfactory and, based on conversations I have had, shipowners are committed to complying with the upcoming regulations. The industry will do what it must to be ready for the 2020 deadline. The shipping industry is taking major steps and making huge investments to be ready for compliance. It is only fair that the nation states party to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention live up to their end of the agreement. For instance, the nation states are obliged to oversee and if necessary police the bunker suppliers operating in their countries. If a supplier sells contaminated or other off spec fuel to the shipping industry that affects the safety of the crew, ship, engines or environment, it needs to be investigated and if appropriate legal action should be taken. Sadly, this is not the case today. Recently, we have seen bunkers delivered to a large number of ships that impacted the operation of their engines. To date, there appears to have been little, if any, action taken against the bunker suppliers responsible. This is a cause for concern. With a switch to low-sulphur fuel, large volumes of heavily blended fuels will be sold with an inherently much greater risk of contamination or other quality-related issues. The shipowners and operators need to be assured that the market will be policed effectively as a deterrent. BIMCO has reached out to a number of IMO member-states on this issue and has agreed with the US Environmental Protection Agency to help it gather information about bad bunkers. I hope our affected members will assist this survey. As another example: since 2010, IMO members have been required to register the types of compliant fuel available in their ports under Regulation 18.2 of MARPOL Annex VI. Unfortunately, that is not happening; in the past eight years, only two ports have informed the register. The ability to buy compliant fuel is a significant concern for shipowners and operators. Some of those fears would be alleviated if member states would register fuel availability as required in MARPOL. I do not think it unreasonable that, if the shipping industry works hard and makes major investments to be compliant, member states should also take their oversight role seriously and help the industry through what promises to be a difficult transition period. Connect with BIMCO Facebook Twitter Linkedin YouTube