2020 'Global Sulphur Cap' - ICS Guidance on Compliance

25 September 2018

Members are reminded that as from 1 January 2020, in accordance with MARPOL Annex VI, the sulphur content of fuel oil used "on board" (including in main and auxiliary engines and boilers) commercial ships trading outside sulphur Emission Control Areas must not exceed 0.50%m/m. The requirements are referred to as the 2020 'Global Sulphur Cap'. 

As outlined in MARPOL Annex VI, the lower sulphur emission standards can be met by using:

  1. low-sulphur compliant fuel oil; or 
  2. gas/methanol/LNG which produces negligible sulphur oxide emissions when ignited - see the IGF Code, available here, and a feasibility study on LNG as a fuel for shipping, available here; or 
  3. exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), also known as "scrubbers", which clean the emissions before they are released into the atmosphere.  For further details see the 2015 Guidelines for EGCS, available here

For ship owners/operators who have chosen to achieve compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap through the use of low-sulphur compliant fuel oil, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published “Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ for Ships’ Fuel Oil”. The ICS Guidance provides an overview of the upcoming requirements, with recommendations on developing ship specific implementation plans to meet the mandatory deadline.

For a full copy of the ICS Guidance click here. Ship owner/operator Members should take note of the ICS Guidance, and take steps to prepare ship specific implementation plans and other measures necessary in advance of the 1 January 2020 deadline.