IMO meetings on consistent implementation of the global sulphur limit as of 1.01.2020 – Balanced industry guidance on safe handling of 0.50% marine fuels together with harmonized

The IMO Intersessional Working Group meeting of July 2018 has started to develop a set of guidelines on the consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI for the use by administrations, port state control authorities, ship owners, ship operators and fuel oil providers. The Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) subcommittee will continue this work in February 2019.

That development of a suitable industry guidance that addresses potential issues on fuel and machinery systems is very welcomed.

The draft terms of reference developed by OCIMF and IPIECA have initiated an interest of many stakeholders to contribute to the development of the industry guidance document on safe handling of 0.50% S marine fuels. Regarding the stability and compatibility of 0.50% S marine fuels included in the guidance, FuelsEurope is of the opinion that it should be strongly based on the results and/or recommendations of all the parties involved. FuelsEurope is of the opinion that with the adequate preparation from all stakeholders involved, the transition from high sulphur fuel oil to 0.50% sulphur fuels can be handled in a safe way.

The debates on the verification issues and the control mechanisms and actions, which are intended to lead to a uniform approach to the verification of the sulphur content by all parties, are ongoing. FuelsEurope supports to have the same verification procedure for the MARPOL samples and for the in-use samples. Additionally, it supports the global adoption a testing compliance method that is based on the established statistical confidence limit associated with the testing of the sulphur content in marine fuel products.