The United States is looking for a “pragmatic” approach to the
implementation of new marine fuel emission rules that go into effect in 2020, a
U.S. Coast Guard official said on Thursday.
The United States will seek to develop a proposal or proposals
with like-minded countries for a May 2019 meeting of the International Maritime
Organization’s (IMO) environmental body, Rear Admiral John Nadeau, assistant
commandant for prevention policy for the Coast Guard, said on the sidelines of
a conference in New York.
The IMO has set new rules that will ban ships from using fuels with a
sulfur content above 0.5 percent from Jan. 1, 2020, compared with 3.5 percent
now, unless they are equipped with scrubbers to clean sulfur emissions.
Last week, the United States said it supported
a phase-in of the 2020 rules to protect consumers from any price
spikes in heating and trucking fuels, although it did not seek to delay the
associations together with the Bahamas, Liberia, Panama and the Marshall
Islands this week proposed an “experience-building phase,” which gained support
But Wednesday’s meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection
Committee (MEPC) in London pushed
back on the idea, calling it vague, confusing and said it would require more
The proposal’s backers were told they could submit further
concrete proposals for the next MEPC in May. That will leave little time for
deliberations before the regulations kick in.
Nadeau said that to his knowledge there was no discussion this
week of delaying implementation of the rules. Conversations have focused around
problems that might arise from the 2020 start date, including issues
surrounding fuel oil quality, he told Reuters at a conference held by the North
American Marine Environment Protection Association.
welcome and invite the opportunity to go back to MEPC 74 in May with proposals
that we’ve developed working with like-minded countries to help make sure we
have a pragmatic compliance regime in place as we go forward,” he said.