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Marshall Islands IMO 2020 update and regulatory perspective paper

With the IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 entering into force in a little under a year, International Registries, Inc. (IRI), which provides administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime and Corporate Registries, the world’s second largest ship registry, recently published a paper in Gallagher’s February 2019, IMO 2020 Special Edition Marine Hull & Machinery and War Risks Market Update entitled Marpol Annex VI – 0.50% Gobal Fuel Oil Sulphur Limit – Update and Regulatory Perspective.

Summarizing the update, author Nick Makar remarks:
“All ships are expected to be fully compliant when the 0.50% global fuel oil sulphur standard takes effect on 1 January 2020. It should be quite clear that due to the established tacit amendment processes in MARPOL, there is no possibility to amend or delay the standard or its effective date prior to 1 January 2020. However, being aware of the uncertainties and challenges associated with the implementation of the 0.50% global fuel oil sulphur standard, a consistent approach is needed to safely address these challenges, while not delaying the enforcement of the standard after it takes effect. Planning and preparation by all stakeholders is crucial for effective compliance and to preserve the smooth flow of maritime trade. There is still work to be done at IMO to finalize the remaining supporting guidance for consistent implementation and to ensure safety considerations are appropriately addressed when transitioning to 1 January 2020 and beyond.”

The full report can be read here.

Nick Makar joined IRI in 2004 as Vice President of the Technical and Investigations service areas. In 2009, he was promoted to Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, representing the RMI delegations to various IMO and ILO meetings, actively participating in the development of numerous MARPOL and SOLAS amendments and codes.

Mr. Makar earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College, followed by seven years of seagoing experience as an engineering officer on United States flagged merchant vessels. He is licensed as a Chief Engineer, Steam and Gas Turbine Vessels of Any Horsepower, and as a Third Assistant Engineer, Motor Vessels of Any Horsepower

2020 Sulphur (re)Cap

The upcoming reduction of fuel oil sulphur content from 3.50% to 0.50% onboard ships operating outside of designated sulphur oxide (SOx) Emission Control Areas (ECAs) to be implemented from 1 January 2020 is the final step in a series of progressive SOx reductions first agreed over a decade ago.

The directive enforcing the reduction in sulphur content, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), addresses the issue of ship-generated pollution. MARPOL Annex VI, which was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, is the most recent addition to MARPOL, and the part that specifically deals with air emissions from ships.

Regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI, contains the requirements relating to the control of sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter emissions by means of limiting the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on-board a ship, both within and outside of designated ECAs.
Source: International Registries Inc.

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