Skip to main content


Monday, October 7, 2019 

INTERCARGO has expressed concern over the de-bunkering of non-compliant fuel as the industry gears up to meet the January 2020 entry into force of the 0.5% global sulphur limit.

During its Annual General Meeting in Athens last week, the shipowners’ association said that there could be cases where fuel has been bunkered as per the bunker delivery note, only to discover that the fuel is non-compliant after analysis.

As it would be unacceptable to have even one ship drifting without power on the high seas as a result, it was agreed at the AGM that INTERCARGO should continue to raise its concerns at the highest level with the IMO Member States, the fuel supply industry (involving oil refineries, bunker suppliers) and charterers, so that the practical challenges to be faced before and after 1 January 2020 are duly addressed.

In a press statement, INTERCARGO said the fuel supply industry has been unable to provide sufficient quantities of representative compliant fuels at an early enough stage for reliable onboard testing, which could create “significant safety implications for the operation of ships”.

Senior Members of the Association said: “We have been doing everything in our power to be ready, but we still face uncertainty. With vague fuel supply prospects and standards, no real support from the machinery manufacturers and a lot of advice and guidance offered only on paper, shipowners are left to cope with the practical challenges on their own.”

Going on the comment about the reduction of greenhouse gasses, INTERCARGO admitted that while dry bulk shipping is amongst the most energy efficient of the seaborne trades, “it must improve further”.

“GHG emissions largely depend on the design and the technology of the constructed ships, their engines and machinery, and the fuels used for propulsion. Therefore shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, and fuel suppliers must be fully engaged in the successful implementation of IMO’s vision for 2050,” said INTERCARGO. “Adequate, safe, innovative technological solutions will be needed, which are non-existent yet.”

During the organisation’s Executive and Technical Committee meetings, which took place alongside the AGM, the Safe Carriage of Cargoes, the Investigation of Bulk Carrier Casualties, Ship Design standards, and Ballast Water Management were also high on the agenda.

INTERCARGO again expressed its “utmost concern” over cargo liquefaction, which  continue to result in ships losses and the lives of seafarers.

“Against a frustrating lack of consolidated efforts and commitment from all stakeholders including shippers, receivers and Port State authorities at loading and discharging ports to eliminate the problem, it is imperative that the minimum obligations as required by the IMSBC Code are fulfilled,” INTERCARGO stated in the release.

“The importance of investigating incidents and the subsequent publication of quality casualty investigation reports in a timely manner, cannot be overstressed.”

INTERCARGO urged all relevant administrations, that have not done so, to complete their incident investigations and publish the reports. It also invited IMO to establish an effective system for this purpose.

The Association’s Membership has doubled over the last three years with INTERCARGO now representing at least a quarter of the global dry bulk fleet.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index

Web Analytics