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Bohai Rim 'reportedly' fines foreign ships for using non-compliant fuel

04 Apr 2017 00:01 GMT

Vessels are said to have been penalized for not burning low-sulphur marine fuel.



The Maritime Safety Administrations (MSA) of Hebei Province and Tianjin - both located in northern China's Bohai Rim Emission Control Area (ECA) - have "reportedly" penalized foreign-flagged vessels for using non-compliant fuel, North of England P&I Club (North) says.

According to the P&I club, the two MSAs are said to have handed out fines to vessels for not burning low-sulphur marine fuel when anchored at one of its main ports. Further details about the number of vessels penalized and the size of the fines were not provided.

Since 1st January 2017, vessels are now required to run on fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent when berthed at 11 key locations in China's three ECAs: Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim.

There are currently four Bohai Rim ports that have been categorized as key ports; they are: Huanghua, Qinhuangdao and Tangshan in Hebei Province, and Tianjin.

North reports that inspectors have been routinely carrying out detailed inspections of on-board documentation and collecting fuel samples for testing at a local laboratory.

The P&I club has urged ship operators with vessels calling at any of the 11 key ports to be prepared for the inspections.

A breakdown of the ports affected by the 2017 sulphur cap regulation has been provided below. The ports have been categorized by ECA, province and local maritime safety administration (MSA).

Bohai Rim ECA

- Hebei Province (Hebei MSA): Huanghua, Qinhuangdao and Tangshan.

- Tianjin (Tianjin MSA).

Pearl River Delta ECA

- Guangdong Province (Guangdong MSA): Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai

Yangtze River Delta ECA

- Jiangsu Province (Jiangsu MSA): Nantong and Suzhou.

- Shanghai (Shanghai MSA)

- Zhejiang Province (Zhejiang MSA): Ningbo-Zhoushan (including Beilun, Chuanshan, Daxie, Zhenhai, Meishan, Shengsi, Liuheng, Dinghai, Qushan and Jintang).

Regulation timeline

Hong Kong was the first Pearl River Delta port to enforce the obligatory use of fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent in 2015. Its Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation, L.N. 51 of 2015, became effective on 1st July 2015.

On 1st January 2016, China's three ECAs - the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim - became effective and ships were encouraged, but not obliged, to begin using 0.5 percent sulphur fuel when at berth or anchor by the Ministry of Transport.

On 1st April 2016, the Yangtze River Delta ports of Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan (including Beilun, Chuanshan, Daxie, Zhenhai, Meishan, Shengsi, Liuheng, Dinghai, Qushan and Jintang), Suzhou, and Nantong were required to use 0.5 percent sulphur fuel during berthing.

On 1st October 2016, ports calling at the Pearl River Delta port of Shenzhen were obliged to run on fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent during berthing.

As of January 2017, the 0.5 percent regulation is now obligatory for ships when at berth or anchor at the following ECA ports: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nantong, Ningbo-Zhoushan (including Beilun, Chuanshan, Daxie, Zhenhai, Meishan, Shengsi, Liuheng, Dinghai, Qushan and Jintang), Huanghua, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Tianjin.

In January 2018, the rules will apply to ships when at berth or anchor at all ports in China's three ECAs. Then, in January 2019, the 0.5 percent regulation will extend to all ECA waters.

It is understood that the Ministry of Transport intends to reduce the 0.5 percent ECA limit to 0.1 percent on 1st January 2020, though this is yet to be confirmed.






Related Links:

Tanker owners advised to bunker 0.5% fuel in China 'to be on the safe side'
Shenzhen 0.5% sulphur cap now effective
Shenzhen to implement 0.5% at-berth sulphur limit in October

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