More scrubber bans branded as fake news

A projected proliferation of bans of exhaust gas cleaning systems around the world has been labelled as “fake news” by a pro-scrubber lobbying group.

The Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 has called upon the global maritime industry not to single out scrubber wash waters when coastal states and port authorities adopt local regulations to lessen the impact of ship operations on their ports and harbours.

Responding to reports that coastal states and ports are implementing rules that “restrict the discharge of wash waters”, the lobbying group said that most ports and harbours already have discharge requirements which have been in place for years.

Ian Adams, the newly installed executive director at CSA 2020, said: “Ports have the right to mandate their own requirements and it is commonplace for local administrations to continually assess their ship discharge requirements. But to link these decisions to sensationalist statements in the scrubber debate, without any reference to scientific data, is unfounded, unreasonable and impacts port clients while perpetuating the spread of factually incorrect information.

“To start speculating that this will have an impact on global rules or, indeed, the wider take up of open- and closed-loop scrubbers is wrong. It’s peddling fake news.”

Michael Kaczmarek, senior vice president, at cruise giant Carnival Corporation, a member of the CSA 2020, said: “It is understandable the discharge of scrubber wash waters will figure in some local discharge discussions and these rules may currently differ from one place to the next. However, we strongly encourage any port considering a restriction to first investigate the existing data before creating such an impact on their shipping clients.”

In recent months, CSA 2020 representatives have visited several ports and other authorities to present scientific data relating to the composition of wash waters. Splash understands data from a major classification society is being cited, which claims scrubber wash water is not harmful to the environment.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. For the sake of completion, could you please clarify which Classification Society’s report/data is being cited in the last sentence of the article? Thanks.

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