ICS reminds shipowners of carriage ban on non-compliant fuel

ICS reminds shipowners of carriage ban on non-compliant fuel

Port state control authorities will begin to enforce the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap from March 1, making it an offence for ships to carry fuel that contains a sulphur content higher than 0.5 per cent unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS).

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has made an announcement to remind shipowners and operators of the impending ban and reiterates the fact that any ships found to be non-compliant face the prospect of detention.

As of March 1, enforcement agencies will no longer have to prove usage. Showing that vessels without EGCS have non compliant fuel onboard will be enough to prove a violation. Major port state regimes including Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), have made it plain that they will rigorously enforce the requirements.

Guy Platten, Secretary General ICS commented:“Since the introduction of IMO 2020 on 1 January, ships have been given a ‘grace period’ while the industry transitions to low-sulphur fuel. As of 1st March this will no longer be the case. Any ship found in non-compliance faces the prospect of serious fines and even detention.

“The International Chamber of Shipping has been made aware that major port State inspection regimes including the United States Coast Guard and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that detention of ships found to be non-compliant is both possible and legally permissible.

The information ICS has received is that shipowners are fully compliant and ready for the 1 March. We are simply reminding shipowners and operators that these new rules will come into force as of Sunday 1 March.”