The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) is calling for the governments of IMO Member States to adopt the MARPOL Annex VI sulphur verification procedure prior to entering into force on 1 April 2022.
This is to ensure a consistent approach to verifying sulphur limit compliance without delay, in line with Circular MEPC.1/Circ.882 issued by MEPC 74 in 2019.
Currently, an in-use or onboard sample testing between 0.51% and 0.53 % sulphur content could be deemed non-compliant by the port state control authorities that do not apply the amended verification procedure. However, test methods have limitations with regards to their accuracy and a single test result of 0.53% sulphur does not conclusively prove that a fuel has failed to meet the 0.50% sulphur limit. The amended procedure recognises single test reproducibility and allows a test margin of up to 0.53% sulphur
Uncertainty over marginally non-compliant fuel samples can lead to lengthy disputes and de-bunkering operations, which may impact the vessel’s schedule and generate increased carbon emissions.
The full IBIA article can be found here.
North’s comprehensive and industry-leading guidance on the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap can be found here.