Class and Statutory News
Sulphur Cap 2020 - Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI took place from 9 to 13 July 2018
Jul. 20 2018
Sulphur Cap 2020 - Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI took place from 9 to 13 July 2018
Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation
of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI
International Maritime Organization, 9 to 13 July 2018
An Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI took place from 9 to 13 July 2018.
The working group has developed Guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020. This new plan is not mandatory and should not be approved or endorsed by any authority whatsoever. On the other hand, it lists a whole series of actions that shipowners are invited to implement sufficiently in advance so as to be compliant on 1 January 2020. As this is an urgent issue, the PPR Subcommittee has authorized the ISWG to report on its work directly to MEPC 73 (22-26 November 2018) which will also address safety implications and corresponding recommendations related to Cap 2020 (1).
ISWG-AP1 has also prepared draft Guidelines on consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI (2). These Guidelines, broader than the aforementioned guidance, are intended for use by Administrations, port State, shipowners, shipbuilders and fuel oil providers. They will be further discussed at PPR6 (18-22 February 2022).
Draft amendments to regulations 2 and 14 and to appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI have been agreed (3).
Consequential amendments to the 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI (resolution MEPC.181(59))and to the Guidelines for onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships (MEPC.1/Circ.864) have been drafted (4).
All these amendments will be further discussed at PPR6 (18-22 February 2022).
The Intersessional Meeting on Consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI (ISWG – AP1) was instructed to :
develop draft Guidelines for ship implementation planning for 2020;
develop draft Guidelines for consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI;
develop draft amendments, as appropriate, to the following existing Guidelines :
Ø 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI (resolution MEPC.181(59));
Ø 2010 Guidelines for monitoring the worldwide average sulphur content of fuel oils supplied for use on board ships (resolution MEPC.192(61), as amended by resolution MEPC.273(69));
Ø Guidelines for onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships (MEPC.1/Circ.864);
develop the following draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI with an expected entry into force in summer 2021:
Ø definition of "Sulphur content" (amendments to regulation 2);
Ø testing and verification procedure of in-use fuel oil samples (amendments to regulation 14 and associated consequential amendments to regulation 18 and appendix VI);
Ø regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI
In the introductory remarks of the Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Stefan Micallef, on behalf of the IMO Secretary-General, it was recalled that MEPC 70 agreed to the date of 1 January 2020 as the effective date of implementation for ships to comply with the 0.50% m/m sulphur content of fuel oil requirement, as set out in regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI. It was clearly stated that this date will not change.
1. Ship implementation planning for 2020
ISWG-AP1 has finalized the draft MEPC circular on Guidance on the development of a ship implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI.
Administrations should encourage ships flying their flag to develop ship implementation plans (SIP), outlining how the ship may prepare in order to comply with the required sulphur content limit of 0.50% by 1 January 2020.
Notwithstanding the fact that it is not a mandatory document, Administrations and port State control authorities may take into account the implementation plan when verifying compliance with the 0.50% sulphur limit requirement. However, a lack of a ship implementation plan or an incomplete ship implementation plan should not be considered as ‘clear grounds’ for a more detailed inspection.
1.1. Content of the Ship implementation plan
A SIP could cover various items relevant for the specific ship, including, as appropriate, but not limited to:
risk assessment and mitigation plan (impact of new fuels);
fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning;
fuel oil capacity and segregation capability;
procurement of compliant fuel;
fuel oil changeover plan (conventional residual fuel oils to 0.50% sulphur compliant fuel oil);
documentation and reporting.
A template of a SIP was drafted (see attached document).
1.2. Issues relating to use of sulphur compliant fuel oil to be assessed
The following potential fuel-related issues may need to be assessed and addressed by ships in preparation for and implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit requirement:
technical capability of ships to handle different types of fuel;
compatibility of different types of fuels;
handling sulphur non-compliant fuels in the event of non-availability of sulphur compliant fuels;
crew preparedness including possible training with changeover procedures.
The SIP could be used as the appropriate tool to identify and mitigate any specific safety risks related to sulphur compliant fuel oil, e.g. :
procedures to segregate different types of fuel and fuels from different sources;
detailed procedures for compatibility testing and segregating fuels from different sources until compatibility can be confirmed;
procedures to changeover from one type of fuel to another or a fuel oil that is known to be incompatible with another fuel oil;
plans to address any mechanical constraints with respect to handling specific fuels, including ensuring that minimum/maximum characteristics of fuel oil as identified in ISO 8217 can be safely handled on board the ship.
The SIP could also take into account the issues identified in two additional guidances in appendix of the main draft guidance :
Additional guidance on impact on machinery systems (Cold flow, Distillates, Blended residual fuels);
Additional guidance on tank cleaning (Options for tank cleaning, approximate timelines and considerations, Manual cleaning during dry docking, Manual cleaning during service, Cleaning tanks in service with specialized additives).
MEPC 72, having considered the urgency of the matter, had authorized the ISWG—AP1 to report its outcome concerning the development of guidance on ship implementation planning for 2020 to MEPC 73, for consideration and action.
1.3. Identification in the SIP of safety issues with regard to low-sulphur fuel oil
As aforementioned, the draft MEPC circular on Guidance on the development of a ship implementation plan for the consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI addresses some safety issues identified with regard to low-sulphur fuel oil, echoing discussion in the ISWG-AP1 which identified potential safety implications as follows:
stability of blended fuel oil;
compatibility, including new tests and metrics required by future fuel blends;
cold flow properties;
ISO had already been requested by MEPC to update the marine fuel oil standard including associated guidance.
The representative of ISO indicated that 0.50% max sulphur fuel oils will be fully capable of being categorized within the existing ISO 8217 standard and that the publicly available specifications (PAS) under development expected to be published next year will provide guidance as to the application of the existing ISO 8217 standard to such fuel oils.
The ISO 8217 committee is also working closely with CIMAC and will contribute to the initiative taken by OCIMF and IPIECA to develop a guidance document to bring awareness to, and to assist crew and ship operators in the safe onboard handling of these future fuel oil blends, considering their potential impact on operational aspects.
ISWG-AP1 has agreed to recommend MEPC 73 to invite MSC 100 to consider the outcome of this meeting concerning the safety implications associated with the use of low-sulphur fuel oil, and take action as appropriate noting the initiative of industry organizations to develop industry guidance and training material.
2. Development of draft Guidelines for consistent implementation of Regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex VI
ISWG-AP1 has developed draft Guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI, for finalization at PPR 6, with a view to submission to MEPC 74.
These Guidelines are intended for use by Administrations, port State, shipowners, shipbuilders and fuel oil providers.
2.1. Impact on fuel and machinery systems
Low viscosity may cause internal leakages in diesel engines, boilers and pumps. Internal leakages in fuel injection system may result in reduced fuel pressure to the engine, which may have consequences for the engine performance.
Cold Filter Plugging Points (CFPP) and Cloud Points (CP) as well as the Pour Point for distillate fuels need to be considered in light of the ship's intended operating area.
Since the residual fuels are usually heated and distillate fuels are not heated, particular attention needs to be given to the cold flow properties of distillates. Thus, it is good practice to review the possibilities of heating arrangements for distillate fuels on board. In this regard, reference may be made to CIMAC Guideline on Cold flow properties of marine fuel oils.
Blended residual fuels
The stability and compatibility of the blends will be very important concerns for ship owners/operators, as a wide range of blends of refined products will be used to make the new 0.5% sulphur fuels. Thus, it will be extremely important to ensure that incompatible blended residual fuels are kept segregated and are tested for compatibility prior bunkering.
A fully segregated fuel system for both distillate fuels and these new fuels is recommended.
When shifting to Very low Sulphur FO operation from High-Sulphur fuel FO (HSFO) operation the choice of appropriate cylinder lubricating oil should be considered in accordance with the recommendations of the engine manufacturer.
2.2. Verification issues and control mechanism and actions
Survey and certification by Administrations
Administrations should check whether the ship carries compliant fuel oils for use, based on Bunker Delivery Note (BDN) onboard or any other document, as appropriate. If carriage of HSFOs for use is identified, the Administration should check whether regulation 3.2, regulation 4 or regulation 18.2.3 of MARPOL Annex VI are applied to the ship (EGCS for instance).
Control measures by port States
Port States should take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the 0.50% of sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI, in line with the regulation 10 of MARPOL Annex VI and the 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI (resolution MEPC.181(59) (cf.4).
2.3. Fuel oil non-availability
Guidance and information sharing on fuel oil non-availability
Regulation 18.2.1 of MARPOL Annex VI provides that in the event compliant fuel oil cannot be obtained, a Party to MARPOL Annex VI can request evidence outlining the attempts made to obtain the compliant fuel, including attempts made to local alternative sources. Regulations 18.2.4 and 18.2.5 then require that the ship notifies its Administration and the competent authority of the port of destination on the inability to obtain this fuel oil, with the Party to notify IMO of the non-availability.
Hence, should a vessel, despite its best effort to obtain compliant fuel oil, be unable to do so, the master/Company must:
present a record of actions taken to attempt to bunker correct fuel oil and provide evidence of an attempt to purchase compliant fuel oil in accordance with its voyage plan and, if it was not made available where planned, that attempts were made to locate alternative sources for such fuel oil and that despite best efforts to obtain compliant fuel oil, no such fuel oil was made available for purchase;
do its best efforts to procure compliant fuel oil include, but are not limited to, investigating alternate sources of fuel oil prior to commencing the voyage;
must immediately notify the port State Administration in the port of arrival and the flag Administration (regulation 18.2.4 of MARPOL Annex VI) if, despite best efforts, it was not possible to procure compliant fuel oil, the master/owner.
Standard format for reporting fuel oil non-availability
A standard format for reporting fuel oil non-availability (FONAR) has been drafted (see attached).
3. Development of draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI
ISWG-AP1 developed draft amendments to Regulations 2 and 14 and appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI, for finalization at PPR 6, with a view to submission to MEPC 74.
3.1. Amendment to Regulation 2 - Definition of "Sulphur content"
It was agreed to develop a draft definition of "sulphur content" referring to a specific version of ISO 8754 in a footnote.
New paragraphs 51 and 52 are added to Regulation 2 as follows:
"51 Sulphur content means the concentration of sulphur in any fuel oil, measured in % m/m as tested in accordance with standard acceptable to the Organization (1).
52 Low-flashpoint fuel means gaseous or liquid fuel having a flashpoint lower than otherwise permitted under paragraph 2.1.1 of SOLAS regulation II-2/4."
(1) - Refer to ISO 8754: 2003 Petroleum products – Determination of sulfur content – Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
3.2. Amendments to Regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI to require a dedicated sampling point for fuel oil
ISWG-AP1 had for its consideration amendments to regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI regarding sampling points for the purpose of taking representative samples of the fuel oil being used on board ships; and consequential draft amendments to regulations 2 and 14.
One or more sampling points shall be fitted or designated for the purpose of taking representative samples of the fuel oil being used on board the ship.
3.3. Amendments to Appendix VI -Fuel verification procedure for MARPOL Annex VI fuel oil samples
IMO already adopted Guidelines for onboard sampling and verification of the sulphur content of fuel used on-board ships and the proposed amendments to appendix VI were considered to complement these guidelines.
The current Appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI provides the analysis methodology only for MARPOL samples. It was proposed that the sample analysis of fuel oils should be conducted in a uniform and reliable manner.
The port States may analyze either the representative samples provided with bunker delivery note (BDN) in accordance with regulation 18.8.2 of MARPOL Annex VI (referred to as "MARPOL samples") or samples from designated sampling point in accordance with the guidelines for onboard sampling (MEPC.1/Circ.864) (referred to as "in-use samples").
It was agreed not to retain the existing Part 1 Stage 2 of the verification procedure for the MARPOL sample. In that regard, Stage 2 should be deleted for the following reasons :
· there is statistically proven evidence that repeat testing, required by Stage 2, will not provide any greater degree of certainty over the concluding test results in the context of the requirement of this verification process
· Member States have expressed the increased complexity and costs of having to apply the Stage 2 procedures
These amendments should be finalized by PPR6.
4. Development of draft amendments to the existing Guidelines
4.1. 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI (resolution MEPC.181(59))
ISWG-AP1 has developed draft amendments to the 2009 Guidelines for port State control under the revised MARPOL Annex VI for finalization at PPR 6, with a view to submission to MEPC 74.
4.2. 2010 Guidelines for monitoring the worldwide average sulphur content of fuel oils supplied for use on board ships (resolution MEPC.192(61), as amended by resolution MEPC.273(69))
ISWG-AP1 agreed not to develop amendments to the 2010 Guidelines at this meeting and to invite interested Member States and international organizations to submit relevant proposals to PPR 6.
4.3. Guidelines for onboard sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships (MEPC.1/Circ.864)
ISWG-AP1 has updated the Guidelines to include the first stage of the verification procedure set forth in appendix VI of MARPOL Annex VI for verification of in-use fuel oil samples.
The number and location of designated fuel oil sampling points should be confirmed by the Administration following consideration of possible fuel cross-contamination and service tank arrangements. They should be clearly marked for easy identification and described in [relevant documents.
In addition, it must be recalled that MEPC 72 approved MEPC.1/Circ.875 on Guidance on best practice for fuel oil purchasers/users for assuring the quality of fuel oil used on board ships. These best practices are intended to assist fuel oil purchasers/users in assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered to, and used on board ships, with respect to both compliance with the MARPOL requirements and the safe and efficient operation of the ship.
These fuel oil purchaser/user best practices are recommended for all ships and should also be taken into account in those cases where fuel oil purchasing decisions are made by the ship charterer pursuant to a chartering agreement.