A prohibition on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuels in Arctic waters comes into effect in 2024.
As part of amendments to MARPOL Annex I, MEPC.329(76), which entered into force on 1 November 2022, Regulation 43A in Chapter 9 of the convention means the use and carriage of oils listed in Regulation 43.1.2 of MARPOL Annex I as fuel by ships will be prohibited in Arctic waters, as defined in MARPOL Annex I, Regulation 46.2, on or after 1 July 2024.
Optional waivers until 2029
While consulting IMO guidelines, the Administration of a Party to MARPOL Annex I, whose coastline borders Arctic waters, may temporarily waive the above requirements for ships flying the flag of that Party while operating in waters subject to the sovereignty or jurisdiction of that Party. Such waivers issued will not apply on or after 1 July 2029.
Other exemptions until 2029
For ships with oil fuel tanks that comply with Regulation 12A of MARPOL Annex I or Regulation 1.2.1 of Chapter 1 of Part II-A of the Polar Code, the use and carriage of oils listed in Regulation 43.1.2 of MARPOL Annex I as fuel will be prohibited in Arctic waters, as defined in Regulation 46.2 of MARPOL Annex I, on or after 1 July 2029.
Exception to new rules
An exception to these new requirements is for ships engaged in securing the safety of ships or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response.
When prior operations have included the use and carriage of oils listed in MARPOL Annex I, Regulation 43.1.2 as fuel, the cleaning or flushing of tanks or pipelines is not required.