The 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil onboard ships (outside designated emission control areas) will come into effect on 1st January 2020. Ensuring consistent implementation of the 0.50% requirement is a key item on the agenda of IMO’s Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) which meets this week (5th-9th February) at IMO headquarters, London. The meeting will also continue to look at how to measure black carbon emissions from shipping.
Other matters on the agenda include the development of further guidance to support the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention, including ballast water sampling and analysis. Revised guidelines for the use of dispersants for combating oil pollution at sea, which take into account experience from the Deepwater Horizon incident, are expected to be finalised.
The ongoing revision of the product lists and index in the international code for carriage of chemicals in bulk will continue, as well as consideration of requirements to address the discharge of high-viscosity solidifying and persistent floating products (such as certain vegetable oils). The meeting will also consider including new controls on the biocide cybutryne in the convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS Convention).
The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Undoubtedly, the most important item on your agenda this week is the consistent implementation of the 0.50% m/m global limit of the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, which will come into effect from 1 January 2020. There is no turning back! The lower global sulphur limit will have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and on human health, particularly that of people living in port cities and coastal communities.”