The 73rd gathering of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) taking place this week at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is running behind schedule, but nevertheless a move to create an experience-building phase to the global sulpur cap, due to commence on January 1, 2020, is expected to be approved later today.
After the first two days of the five-day meeting just six items on the MEPC agenda had been completed with sulphur cap implementation issues overrunning through to today.
The so-called experience-building phase is not designed to push back the 2020 cap implementation date, its sponsors have stressed. The move is designed instead to be a data-gathering period to give greater transparency and detailed information on compliance for an unspecified period after January 1, 2020. The idea was co-sponsored by the Bahamas, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Panama, BIMCO, Intercargo and Intertanko, and has since gained strong support from the US, and a host of other nations attending MEPC this week.