Shippers operating within Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) should be deciding on which strategy for compliance to the latest sulphur emission regulations to embrace, and not deciding whether or not to comply, transport and logistics group Euroports says.
However, inconsistent and weak rule enforcement, together with the prospect of potential punishments that are often insignificant, can create a ‘cost differential’ that amounts to a temptation not to comply at all.
According to the industry analyst SeaIntel’s recent survey, ”a 4,500 TEU vessel sailing at 16 knots from the entrance of the Channel to Hamburg, using 1% sulphur fuel instead of the mandated 0.1%, would save EUR 12,000 – six times more than the German fine, and that is just one way.”
However, failure to ensure uniform compliance with the sulphur emission limits will significantly distort the competition between shipowners globally, as it will not be sustainable for a compliant ship to compete with another ship operating in noncompliance, Europort warns.
A level playing field is commercially critical for owners and without it there is a danger of a two-tier market developing. This would not be beneficial to the industry as a whole in the long-term; nor is it conducive to technological advancement.
Europort says it is endorsing a responsible industry that looks to mitigate this risk by forming a coalition of shipowners and operators who share the common interest in consistent and robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulations.