The international nature of the shipping industry means that regulatory solutions to curb the environmental impacts of international shipping need to be delivered globally.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) undertook an extensive review before finalising the 2020 implementation date for the global limit. This review focused on whether sufficient fuel would be available in 2020, rather than the cost of compliance. At the time, the priority for the UK maritime sector was to confirm the date of application for the 0.5 per cent sulphur cap as early as possible, to allow shipowners enough time to prepare for the new limit.
The UK played an active role in this work, and was instrumental in ensuring that IMO confirmed the date of application in October 2016, rather than in 2018 in order to provide industry with greater clarity and time to prepare.