The Government supports the 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuel which comes into force globally on 1 January 2020.
Existing UK guidance for shipowners on the issue is published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in MSN 1819 and MGN 381. These will be updated to reflect the changes to the global sulphur cap following completion of work by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the issue, and in advance of the implementation date.
The UK is actively involved with other States and industry at the IMO, in efforts to support the implementation by shipping companies and fuel suppliers. This work has been progressing well, and will be further advanced at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee which is meeting later this month. This meeting will consider a range of measures to support implementation including ‘ship operator implementation plans’ with further work planned at the IMO Pollution Prevention Response Subcommittee in February 2019 to address cases of non-compliant fuel.
Additionally, the UK has been active within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in supporting the development of guidance for shipowners. The existing standard for marine fuels (ISO 8217:2017) will continue to apply, but additional guidance will be available for companies ordering and handling these fuels from mid-2019.