China MSA Penalises Foreign Vessel for ECA Non-Compliance in Tianjin

Monday March 20, 2017

The American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) says China's Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) in Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality have penalised a foreign ship for non-compliance with applicable emission control area (ECA) regulations.

As Ship & Bunker has reported, the ECA regulations require ships at berth in affected ports to use fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.50 percent, except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure.

The vessel is said to have been inspected at Tianjin Port, with sampling results showing the ship was using fuel of a sulfur content of 0.866 percent.

"It is not clear at this stage how the vessel was penalised," says the American Club, noting that the vessel marks the first reported case of the usage of non-compliant fuel in the Pearl River Delta (PRC) more stringent control measures were implemented on January 1, 2017.

Since the initial vessel found to be in non-compliance, the American Club says there have been at least two further foreign flagged vessels that have been penalised by the MSA for non-compliant fuel use.

"Given these recently reported developments, it seems clear that the MSAs will continue to enforce the PRC ECA regulations and requirements vigorously," said the American Club.

"Members are urged to comply with the latest low sulfur content requirement to avoid any detention or other penalty."

Last year, Ship &Bunker reported that vessels found to be in breach of China's new ECA rules would be fined between RMB10,000 and RMB100,000 ($1,550 to $15,500).