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INTERCARGO EXPRESSES 2020 FUEL CONCERNS

Friday, October 11, 2019 

Bulk shipping industry body Intercargo, following its recent series of meetings in Athens, has spoken about fuel compliance post 1 January 2020.

Intercargo noted that the global availability of safe compliant fuels remains a key question that is largely still unanswered. Chairman Dimitrios J Fafalios said that Intercargo will continue efforts to highlight critical aspects of the 2020 sulphur limit regulation implementation. Areas of concern include de-bunkering non-compliant fuel in those cases when fuel has been taken in good faith as per BDN, only to learn that it is non-compliant after analysis and the Port State Control response in those instances.

As it would be unacceptable to have even one ship drifting without power on the high seas as a result of the above, it was agreed that Intercargo should continue to raise its concerns at the highest level with the IMO Member States, the fuel supply industry (involving oil refineries, bunker suppliers) and charterers, so that the practical challenges to be faced before and after 1 January 2020 are duly addressed. Intercargo regrets that the fuel supply industry has been unable to provide sufficient quantities of representative compliant fuels at an early enough stage for reliable testing on board. This situation creates significant safety implications for the operation of ships.

A statement issued by the Association said: “We have been doing everything in our power to be ready, but we still face uncertainty. With vague fuel supply prospects and standards, no real support from the machinery manufacturers and a lot of advice and guidance offered only on paper, shipowners are left to cope with the practical challenges on their own.”

Regarding greenhouse gas emissions, Intercargo supports IMO’s initial strategy. In the short term, its says that measures will need to respect each shipping sector’s characteristics and be equitable. It is crucial that charterers are engaged, as they are responsible for how ships are utilised. In the longer term, adequate, safe, innovative technological solutions will be needed, which are non-existent yet.

Therefore shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, and fuel suppliers must be fully engaged in the successful implementation of IMO’s vision for 2050.

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