SULPHUR LIMITS

Enforcement and penalties

  • Member States should ensure sufficiently frequent and accurate sampling of marine fuel placed on the market or used on board ship as well as regular verification of ships’ log books and bunker delivery notes (BDNs)
  • Member States should establish a system of effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for non-compliance
  • Fines must be high enough to ensure there is no economic benefits from infringement, and should increase gradually for repeated infringements
  • The register of local suppliers of marine fuel should be made publicly available
  • Member States should ensure that the sulphur content of all marine fuels sold in their territory is documented by the supplier on a BDN, accompanied by a sealed sample signed by the representative of the receiving ship
  • Member States should take action against marine fuel suppliers that have been found to deliver fuel that does not comply with the specification stated on the BDN
  • A non-availability clause for operators remains in place, which requires detailed documentation of efforts made to buy compliant fuel.

Support for alternative compliance/preventing modal shift

  • Member States may provide State aid for retrofitting existing vessels with emission abatement equipment
  • Promotion of testing and development of alternative methods, such on-board EGCS, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biofuels is encouraged
  • Member States should ensure the availability of port waste reception facilities to meet the needs of ships using EGCS
  • The Commission should consider reducing port fees for EGCS waste streams

Sampling and analysis for sulphur content

  • Port state control (PSC) may test the so-called MAPROL sample taken during delivery to the ship in accordance with IMO guidelines (which suggest that it should be taken at the receiving vessel’s inlet manifold)
  • PSC may take samples “for analysis of the sulphur content of marine fuel for on-board combustion contained in tanks” – in other words a ship fuel tank or ‘in-use’ sample
  • The reference method adopted for determining the sulphur content shall be ISO method 8754 (2003) or EN ISO 14596 (2007)
  • Sulphur verification procedures should use Articles 3a, 4, 4a and 4b set out in Appendix VI to MARPOL Annex VI
  • The last point may cause consternation in the bunker industry, as it means PSC in Europe may move away from using the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) market standard for interpreting sulphur test results
  • Recently, US authorities emphasised that theywould use the IMO sulphur verification procedure described in Appendix VI to MARPOL Annex VI, rather than ISO 4259, which leaves a slight margin for error that the IMO verification procedure would eliminate

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