• Nick Bozhilov

Are you really ready for IMO’s fuel change?

Updated: Jan 20

The Logistics Point spoke to IMO to find out how the fuel change will affect the industry.


From the beginning of 2020 the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has introduced new fuel regulations. The Logistics Point spoke to IMO to find out how this is going to affect the logistics industry, how the new rules are going to be enforced, and what other projects are on the horizon. We will publish useful links with more information about the change on 17th Friday 2020!

The new requirements brought by IMO have been years in the making. Now that they are reality all companies will need to adhere to them. The industry will have to switch to low sulphur fuels or alternative fuels which are inherently low in sulphur or zero sulphur. Some ships are using exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) but continuing to burn high sulphur fuel oil –which means they meet the requirements by “cleaning” the emissions.


Cost increase

IMO says that there might be increased cost of fuel, which would be passed on through the supply chain. ‘But the world’s population – especially people living near coastal areas – are going to feel the benefits of a reduction in sulphur oxides and therefore there will be cleaner air.,’ the international organisation says.

The organisation is adamant that the shipping industry is well prepared and they have been

working on it throughout 2019. ​To assist ship operators and owners to plan ahead for the 0.50% sulphur 2020 limit, IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) approved various guidance and guidelines.

The MEPC has issued guidance on ship implementation planning, part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO for consistent implementation of the MARPOL regulation coming into effect from 1 January 2020.


Guidances

The Guidance on best practice for fuel oil suppliers is intended to assist fuel oil purchasers and users in assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered to and used on board ships, with respect to both compliance with the MARPOL requirements and the safe and efficient operation of the ship. The guidance pertains to aspects of the fuel oil purchase up to the loading of the purchased fuel oil on board.

‘These comprehensive guidelines include a template for a "Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR)" and a "Technical review of identified possible potential safety implications associated with the use of 2020 compliant fuels"’, IMO explains.

The ship implementation planning guidance includes sections on: risk assessment and mitigation plan (impact of new fuels); fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning (if needed); fuel oil capacity and segregation capability; procurement of compliant fuel; fuel oil changeover plan (conventional residual fuel oils to 0.50% sulphur compliant fuel oil); and documentation and reporting. A joint industry group has also developed its own guidance, which IMO has shared with its Member States and international organizations in a circular letter.


Fuel control

Monitoring, compliance and enforcement of the new limit falls to Governments and national authorities of Member States that are Parties to MARPOL Annex VI. Flag States (the State of registry of a ship) and port States have rights and responsibilities to enforce compliance. IMO has adopted 2019 Guidelines for port State control under MARPOL Annex VI Chapter 3.

‘We have worked with Member States as well as industry (including the shipping industry and the bunker supply and refining industry) to identify and mitigate transitional issues so that ships may meet the new requirement’, IMO says. The Maritime organisation says some time will pass before they know what the results are. They did not commission its own monitoring, but may receive submissions from Member States.

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The Logistics Point will publish useful links related to IMO’s fuel change Friday 17th January. Subscribe so you receive it immediately after it is published! Subscribe here...

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