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Wednesday, January 22, 2020 

The Paris MoU, responsible for Port State Control, says that although vessel owners and operators are aware of the IMO 2020 regulations in general, there is a need for more awareness of the carriage requirements due to enter into force on 1 March.

The Tokyo and Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on port State control (PSC) are jointly issuing letters to make vessel owners and operators aware that, under the Authorities belonging to these MoUs, inspections will be undertaken to ensure compliance with the new sulphur limit requirements on marine fuel oil. The requirements prohibit the use of non-compliant fuel from 1 January 2020 and the carriage of non-compliant fuel, for use on the ship, from 1 March 2020, unless the ship is fitted with an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS).

Emphasis is being placed on the requirements entering into force on 1 March 2020 prohibiting the carriage of non-compliant fuel, for use on ships not equipped with EGCSs.

There are three options for ship owners and operators to comply:

  • Use compliant fuel oil with sulphur content not more than 0.50% m/m;
  • Use an alternative fuel, such as LNG, with a sulphur content of 0.50 % m/m or less; or
  • Fit an alternative means of compliance, such as an EGCS approved under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.

The consensus at MEPC 73 was that there was no need to request port State control Authorities to adopt a ‘practical and pragmatic’ approach as compliance was expected, therefore both Memoranda have agreed that the requirements in relation to the implementation of the 0.50% m/m sulphur cap will be applied without exception. This includes the carriage ban on non-compliant fuel from 1 March 2020.

From 1 March 2020 non-compliant fuel can only be carried on board, for use on the ship, where the vessel is fitted with an EGCS. In instances where compliant fuel cannot be obtained a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) must be submitted to the flag State and the Competent Authority in the next port of call.

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