The warning comes in anticipation of the International Maritime Organization’s low sulphur fuel rule which is to take effect on January 1, 2020.
During the Paris MOU’s 51st Committee meeting held last week, Paris MoU agreed to an information campaign aimed at encouraging timely compliance the regulation. The campaign will include a “Letter of Warning” starting 1 January 2019.
Paris MOU Secretary General Richard Schiferli said he intends the warning to serve as a signal to the industry that port state control will take enforcement of the new sulphur limits seriously from “day one”, he said.
The Paris MOU, which covers Europe and the North Atlantic, is one of nine Port State Control regimes around the world responsible for carrying out inspections on vessels to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations.
The IMO’s upcoming low sulphur fuel requirement will lower the sulphur content limit of marine fuels globally from 3.5% currently to just .5% beginning on January 1, 2020. The IMO has warned that it expects immediate compliance with the new regulations and any ships not meeting the low sulphur requirement could be deemed “unseaworthy”.
To comply with the rule, ships will need to either burn higher cost low sulphur bunker fuel, use an exhaust gas “scrubber” system, or be converted or built for alternative fuel such as liquified natural gas.