ICS issues updated IMO 2020 guidance

Document designed to help ships prepare for upcoming sulphur cap implementation.

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Updated on 01 Jul 2019 09:23 GMT

With half a year left until the implementation the global sulphur cap, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued an updated guidance to help shipowners comply with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

Taking full effect on January 1, 2020, the legal framework will require merchant ships worldwide to either use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.50 percent or alternative mitigation technologies.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of ICS said: "With just six months to go before implementation these free ICS guidelines will help shipping companies with the vital task of preparing for compliance. We strongly recommend that shipowners prepare an Implementation Plan for each of their ships using the template agreed by IMO."

The ICS guidance incorporates the latest IMO decisions addressing issues such as fuel oil non-availability reporting, fuel safety and fuel quality. The updated guidelines are designed to help ships avoid port state control difficulties that might arise, through no fault of the operator, and enable shipowners and ships' crews to overcome the practical challenges presented by this multi-fuel scenario.

The free resource, Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap, contains details of the new requirements to allow onboard sampling to verify fuel oil compliance, and includes a new section on managing different fuels, an updated FAQ and a new appendix with the IMO standard template Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR).

Platten added: "The industry is focused on moving forward but uncertainty remains about the worldwide availability of safe and compliant low sulphur fuels, and the operational challenges associated with using them. It is absolutely vital that everyone concerned, including governments, oil producers and bunker suppliers, redouble their efforts to ensure that safe and compatible fuels will be available in every port worldwide."

The updated guidelines, which have been produced with the support of ICS's regional partners - the Asian Shipowners' Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) - can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.