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Thursday, September 19, 2019 

BIMCO repports that it has joined forces with other shipowner representative bodies, the World Shipping Council (WSC), the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA) to call on IMO member states to fully implement the mandatory global marine fuel sulphur cap entering into force on January 1, 2020.

BIMCO says that the new rules, including the implementation date, have been known for a long time, and the industry has worked diligently to be ready to comply.  However, the cost of compliance is high, so it is critical that the rule is consistently applied and enforced.  There must be a level playing field if this important regulation is going to work.

“Recent reports suggesting that some nations might not fully implement the new rules are disturbing.  Lack of full implementation would risk undermining improvements to public health and the environment,” said John Butler, President & CEO of WSC. “The rules and implementation date for the new sulphur limits are clear and must be enforced.  We urge any country considering deviation to abandon those ideas and put plans in place to fulfil their enforcement responsibilities as of January 1, 2020, and we encourage the IMO to remind member states of their commitments.” 

Angus Frew, Secretary-General and CEO of BIMCO, said: “The primary reason to move to low sulphur fuel is to improve air quality.  For nations not to implement this regulation is to continue to put at risk the health of their coastal populations.”

Brian Salerno, SVP Environmental Policy CLIA, said: “The cruise industry is prepared for the 2020 global sulphur limit through a diverse approach using low-sulphur fuels, alternative technologies such as exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and new ships propelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel.  Consistent application of the requirements globally remains critical, as adopted by the IMO.”

IPTA Chairman, Manish Jain, said: “IPTA members are supportive of the IMO as the sole agency with the mandate to regulate global shipping.  1 January 2020 will herald a major change for ship operations and IPTA members have been working hard to prepare for it.  It is important that IMO member states play their part in ensuring consistent implementation of the global sulphur cap that they developed and adopted.”

Butler concluded: “There is a lot at stake for the IMO community here.  This regulation affects vessel operations 24/7/365 everywhere on the planet, and it will be expensive.  This will be an important test case for IMO member states to demonstrate that they will exercise the political will to implement and enforce the fuel sulphur limits they have adopted.” 

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