The World Shipping Council (WSC), BIMCO, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA) call on International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states to ensure full enforcement of the IMO 2020 regulations.
As of January 1, 2020, the maximum sulphur content of fuel consumed at sea will be limited to 0.50%, unless an exhaust gas cleaning system is used.
The new rules, including the January 1, 2020, 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.
John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council, said: “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. 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 fulfill 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.”
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.”
Economic decline, along with a restrictive lockdown, left the freight sector in a vulnerable situation.