The 66th session of the IMO’S Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has this week given further consideration to deciding whether the global 0.50% sulphur limit can go ahead in 2020, or be deferred until 2025. The committee received four submissions with only one submission, that from the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), arguing against an early review of low sulphur fuel availability, a condition for implementation of the new global limits. Support for an early review came from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and a joint submission from the UK and the Netherlands. However, the proposal finding most support was in a joint submission from the United States, BIMCO, INTERTANKO and CLIA. It seems likely that the outcome of all this will be agreement at MEPC 67 in October this year to authorize an early study in order to give the industry time to respond if the signals are that there will be problems. The study would also be broadened to include the status of development and availability of abatement technology and alternative fuels.
Also at the MEPC this week it was decided that the 2016 deadline for new ships to comply with nitrogen oxide (NOx) Tier III standard applicable in NOx emission control areas (NECAs) will likely be kept for existing NECAs, but theIMO will seek a different solution for new NECAs
Also of note, Hong Kong's demand that local bunker suppliers sell MGO with a sulphur content of no more than 0.05% has also passed into law. Companies selling non-compliant marine light diesel (MLD) may be liable to a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US $6,440) and imprisonment for up to three months.