Shipping associations demand all IMO member states remain resolute as sulphur cap approaches

Amid reports of a number of Asian countries mulling delaying the implementation of the global sulhur cap, due to come into force in just 104 days, a host of leading shipping associations have called for a total, global enforcement of the ruling.

The World Shipping Council (WSC), BIMCO, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA) yesterday demanded all International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states fully implement the sulphur cap come January 1 next year.

“[T]he cost of compliance is high, so it is critical that the rule is consistently applied and enforced. There must be a level playing field if this important regulation is going to work,” the grouping stated in a release.

“Recent reports suggesting that some nations might not fully implement the new rules are disturbing. Lack of full implementation would risk undermining improvements to public health and the environment,” said John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council, who went on to ask the IMO to remind member states of their commitments.

Splash has reported in the past few weeks of Indonesia and India wavering on their sulphur cap comittments.

Angus Frew, secretary-general and CEO of BIMCO, observed: “The primary reason to move to low sulphur fuel is to improve air quality. For nations not to implement this regulation is to continue to put at risk the health of their coastal populations.”

Butler concluded, laying down the challenge for IMO member states, by saying: “There is a lot at stake for the IMO community here. This regulation affects vessel operations 24/7/365 everywhere on the planet, and it will be expensive. This will be an important test case for IMO member states to demonstrate that they will exercise the political will to implement and enforce the fuel sulphur limits they have adopted.”

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.
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