According to John Butler, President and CEO of the World Shipping Council, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) must make sure the IMO 2020 regulations are implemented and enforced in such a way that they do not distort competition and do not penalize responsible companies for complying.He made this remarks at the recent JOC Events Container Trade Europe Conference at Hamburg.
“IMO 2020 is in many ways a much more ambitious regulation than some of the environmental regulations that IMO member states have agreed to before. I say that because the rules don’t simply require the installation of a piece of equipment or a periodic inspection. Instead, the rules govern operational behavior every hour of every day, everywhere on the globe – including on the high seas.”
He said if there is not a level playing field, there is a real possibility for economic distortion.
“The key to keeping the playing field level is for IMO member countries to be very clear and very public in reminding the industry that compliance will be required for everyone. And beyond that, national governments have to follow up to make sure that vessels flying their flags and calling their ports are obeying the law. In a sense, implementation of the IMO 2020 sulphur rules is both a challenge and an opportunity for the IMO community.
“If the IMO and its member states can show that they have the political will to make sure that IMO 2020 is a success in terms of human health, the environment, and a commercial level playing field, then that will set a very valuable baseline for tackling an even more difficult task, which is the task of drastically reducing and eventually eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.”