Class and Statutory News


Feb. 16 2015

Recent changes in marine fuel sulphur content requirements

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has issued the following attached Technical Alert which concerns Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs).

See news attachment for TechnicalAlertNo15-09.pdf

This Technical Alert has been issued by the BMA to address various aspects of recent changes in marine fuel sulphur content requirements and also aims to increase awareness of possible control actions by coastal State and port Authorities that may be applied to ships failing to consume compliant fuel on voyages through SECAs.

The BMA strongly recommends that operators of Bahamian ships incorporate appropriate procedures in their safety management systems to address operations within a SECA, which should include the following :

  • Procedures for change-over to compliant fuel prior to entering a SECA, including record keeping;

  • Procedures for reporting non-availability of compliant fuel;

  • Procedures for emergency change-over to non-compliant fuel whilst operating in a SECA, including record keeping;

  • Crew training aids and other information promulgating better awareness of SECA requirements.

When compliant fuel cannot be purchased locally or timely, documentary evidence addressing non-availability of compliant fuel must be submitted to the BMA and the competent authority of the relevant destination port. The BMA will report all confirmed incidents of non-availability of compliant fuel to the IMO as required by Regulation 18.2.5 of Annex VI.

In case of incidents where it was necessary to switch to non-compliant fuel whilst operating in a SECA due to machinery malfunction or equipment failure, the following actions should be taken :

  • A prompt notification should be made to the BMA and relevant coastal State authorities;

  • Details of the fuel change-over related to the incident should be entered into the Official Log Book and MARPOL VI Record book, or equivalent;

  • All documentation related to the incident should be available on board for review by the BMA, coastal State authorities and Port State Control officers.

BMA reminds also requirements from USA (and particularly California), Europe, Turkey, Denmark, Paris MoU, etc.