Serious Consequences for Ships Found Breaking 0.5% Sulfur Limit, MPA Warns

Monday April 8, 2019

The prospect of ship operators spending time behind bars if caught breaking the coming global standard on sulfur in bunker fuel has been broached by the Martime and Port Authority of Singapore.

A possible two years in prison for masters and operators found using high sulfur fuel oil in Singaporean territorial waters while a S$10,000 ($7,400) fine could also be applied, according to regional news provider the Business Times.

The exact circumstances leading to the imprisoning of ship operators were not outlined by the authority, the report said.

In Marseilles, a French court found the master of ship guilty of breaking European Union bunker fuel sulfur limits resulting in a EUR 100,000 ($114,000) fine.

From January 1 next year, global shipping must conform to a new bunker fuel standard which stipulates a 0.5% sulfur cap on all shipping fuel. Ships equipped with the appropriate technology to achieve an equivalent method of compliance may continue to use high sulfur fuel oil.