19 July 2019
With 1 January 2020 less than five and a half months away, INTERCARGO expresses its growing concern in view of the magnitude of the challenge lying ahead for the industry and the need for a smooth transition.
The global availability of safe compliant fuels remains a key question largely unanswered. The requirement forthe sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas not to exceed 0.50% as of 1 January 2020 marks a sea change in the marine fuels’ supply chain.
It is extremely worrying that compliant fuels have so far been made available only in a limited number of ports and under unfavourable terms for voluntary early testing by ships, as Charterers / Operators are not currently obliged to purchase future compliant fuel. Hence, the practical testing of new fuels and crew training, which is only possible under real conditions aboard ships, is very limited and pushed to the end of year – this situation creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships, which could eventually threaten the safety of seafarers, ships, and cargoes, as well as the marine environment.
In anticipation of the new fuels made available for practical testing aboard ships well before the end of 2019, it is urged that:
• the fuel supply industry provides the market with significant volumes of compliant fuels at many ports around the world, so that all sectors can be serviced, including the dry bulk sector
• the Charterers / Operators start purchasing these fuels
• the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) related to the 0.50% limitis made available as soon as possible to provide guidance on the application of the existing ISO 8217 specification for marine fuels
• the ship Owners/Operators enhance crew training.Seafarers deserve our special consideration, as the industry will largely rely on their skills for managing thenew compliant fuels aboard ships on the high seas to ensure a smooth implementation of this drastic change.
About INTERCARGO: The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) is representing the interests of quality dry cargo shipowners, with 2,200 registered ships out of 11,000 ships in the global dry bulk fleet, corresponding to 25% of the global dry bulk fleet basis deadweight. The dry bulk sector is the largest shipping sectorin terms of number of ships and deadweight.
INTERCARGO convened for the first time in 1980 in London and has been participating with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1993.
INTERCARGO provides the forum where dry bulk shipowners, managers and operators are informed about, discuss and share concerns on key topics and regulatory challenges, especially in relation to safety, the environment and operational excellence. The Association takes forward its Members’ positions to the IMO, as well as to other shipping and international industry fora, having free and fair competition as a principle.
INTERCARGO - International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners