Global sulphur limit confirmed for 1 January 2020
26-10-2018 22:00

This was decided by IMO’s environmental committee (MEPC). At the same time, it was agreed that from 2020 carriage of fuel with more than 0,5 % Sulphur content will be prohibited.

​This will contribute to better enforcement securing both fair competition between shipping companies and providing maximum environmental benefits.

Today, the UN Maritime Organization, IMO, has adopted a ban prohibiting ships carrying fuel which contains more than 0,5% sulphur. The only exception from the ban is ships with a scrubber or similar treatment technology installed.

Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Andreas Nordseth:
"It is important that it has yet again been established that the rules apply from 1 January 2020, and that they will be enforced. Another important step taken is that carriage of high-sulfur fuel will be prohibited. This will make it easier for authorities around the world to enforce the rules effectively.”

Danish authorities have participated actively in the negotiations which has held great importance for Denmark. The new regulation is yet another step towards green transition of the shipping industry, while at the same time securing fair conditions for competition in the industry.

Progress on climate issues

Several other topics were on the agenda at the IMO this week. Today, as a follow-up on the Initial IMO Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy adopted in April, IMO this week adopted a Programme for Follow-Up Actions for the coming work towards 2023. The member states agree on opening up to the possibility of implementing short-term reduction measures and to initiate discussions on medium and long-term initiatives at forthcoming meetings. In addition, it will be considered how the impacts of the reduction measures can be assessed. Furthermore, the MEPC has now set the framework for a study, which will strengthen estimates and scenarios for the shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is important in order to achieve an appropriate level of ambition when the GHG strategy is to be updated in 2023.

No more paraffin along the coasts

In many coastal locations around the world, including in Denmark, it will be well received that the IMO will make prohibit ships from cleaning their tanks in open water. The prohibition applies to highly viscous, sticky substances such as paraffins, which have previously polluted beaches and coasts in many countries. The new rules are expected to enter into force in 2021 From that date, cleaning of ship tanks with cargo residues containing substances such as paraffins must be done in ports so that it can be handed over to a land-based Port Reception Facility. This prevents lumps of paraffins etc. from coming ashore along the coasts.

Plastic waste

Last but not least, MEPC adopted a preliminary Action Plan to reduce plastic waste from shipping. Across the UN system there will be ongoing work on preventing plastic waste from ending in the seas and although ships are not one of the main culprits, their handling of plastic should of course also be handled satisfactorily. The Action Plan contains 30 concrete measures, which include good waste management on ships, Port Reception Facilities, fishery waste and lost containers.

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