There were two key developments. One was the adoption of the ban from 1 March 2020 on carriage of non-compliant fuel. The other was the compromise on collecting data from the world fleet on fuel oil non-availability and quality without any delay in the implementation of the 2020 sulphur rules.
“The industry retains a fixed implementation date, which is important, while we at the same time address the safety concerns,” says Lars Robert Pedersen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General.
Carriage ban adopted
Importantly, BIMCO has been a proponent for a carriage ban of non-compliant fuel. However, this is with the exception if the ship has a scrubber. The ban will start on 1 March 2020.
“A carriage ban on non-compliant fuel is critical in order for the member states to be able to enforce the sulphur regulation,” Pedersen says.
Also, IMO asked for proposals to establish necessary additions to the Global Integrated Shipping Information system (GISIS). So, it is to incorporate data from the experience ships gain on fuel oil availability and fuel quality.
“In BIMCO we will work diligently to craft proposals that will enable the shipping industry to harvest experience to reduce the risk of safety issues,” Pedersen says.
Certainly, work is already underway amongst interested parties. Currently, they are sketching out the necessary elements for a new proposal to IMO.
Finally, the next MEPC meeting, MEPC 74, is in May 2019.