global sulphur cap just round the corner, almost at the doorsteps of the
shipping industry, three trade groups and four countries where thousands of
ships are registered have made a joint proposal to the International Maritime
Organization on Aug. 31 for what they called an gexperience building phase,h
according to a copy of the document obtained by Bloomberg. The
suggestion, if adopted, would avoid individual ships being gunduly penalizedh
if they canft get the right fuel.
rules are designed to make the industry less polluting, the crucial question
raises a doubt as to whether enough of the correct types of fuel will be
available. A hard start to the rules could lead to safety issues as ships rush
to ensure they have compliant fuel on board, according to the submission.
Singapore-based oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd Nevyn Nah reads the esafety issuesf
concern of the groups differently and says it is gyet another attempt to delay
IMO 2020.h He adds, gIf it is delayed, the IMO will lose credibility and it
will be unfair to the refiners and shipowners who have already taken actions to
prepare for IMO 2020.h
Lars Robert Pedersen, deputy secretary general in charge of environmental
matters at the Baltic and International Maritime Council looks upon the
document not as an attempt to delay implementation of the rules but the main
goal is to get clear guidance.
The trade group, better known as Bimco, was among those behind
An IMO spokeswoman said it will be for the organizationfs member
states to discuss the proposal. Therefs already a provision for ships to
provide evidence of why they couldnft obtain compliant fuel, at which point it
would be for a port state to evaluate if they could be excused, she said.
The document didnft say how long the experience building phase
might last. It was submitted by Bimco, Intertanko and Intercargo, as well as
the Bahamas, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Panama. It will be discussed at an
Oct. 22-26 meeting of the IMO.
gThe goal is to gain experience in the use of these new fuels
and to ensure that unsafe fuels do not enter the market in response to
availability pressures,h the proposal said.
In theory, the IMOfs protocols mean an amendment to its rules
takes 22 months to be fully implemented. The new rules are due to start in 16
monthsf time. Individual shipping companies and the refining industry have
invested billions of dollars to get ready for the upgrade.