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IMO drawing up guidelines on implementation of 2020 global sulphur cap

IMO Marine Environment Division deputy director Tianbing Huang spoke of the environmental challenges facing the industry
The IMO is working with its Member States and the shipping industry to 'identify and mitigate transitional issues’ surrounding introduction of the global sulphur cap in January 2020, delegates were told at the 5th biennial gmec (global maritime environment congress) organised in co-operation with Seatrade and taking place at the SMM trade show in Hamburg this week.

Delivering the keynote address to an audience of around 100 delegates, the director of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Division, deputy director Tianbing Huang, spoke of the environmental challenges facing the industry. These included the need to fit ballast water treatment systems, implementation of the new 0.5% sulphur limit, and the IMO’s pledge to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions by at least 50% (from 2008 levels) by 2050 – all subjects discussed in the day-long gmec programme.

Sulphur guidelines being worked on for consistency

Regarding sulphur, Huang disclosed that the IMO is now working with Member States and industry on drawing up a set of guidelines to ‘help ensure consistent implementation’ of the new 2020 regulations which are due to be finalised at the 74th meeting of the international body’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPc 74) in May 2019.

Areas where guidance will be provided include: risk assessment of the 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 plans; and documentation and reporting, he informed.

Meanwhile, draft rules prohibiting the carriage of non-compliant fuel for combustion purposes are likely to be finalised at MEPC 73 taking place later this year, the IMO official added.