Maersk Executive Explains How Some Companies Are Cheating ECA Rules

Thursday October 9, 2014

A.P. Moeller-Maersk (Maersk Group) Regulatory Director, Niels Bjorn Mortensen, said Monday in Copenhagen that Maersk Group has uncovered methods of cheating Emissions Control Area (ECA) sulfur rules in use by some shippers, IHS Maritime 360 reports.

"It all started with rumours that some ship owners never purchased low-sulphur fuel oil and some bunker suppliers issue bunker delivery notes with any content," Mortensen said.

Maersk Group's suspicions were confirmed by Dutch authorities, says the report, as well as work done at Cardiff University in the UK.

Mortensen was in possession of samples of falsified bunker delivery notes purporting to show that a greater amount of marine gasoil (MGO) had been purchased than was the reality.

Mortensen also said some shipowners have been falsely allocating tanks as MGO tanks but filling them with regular heavy fuel oil (HFO).

According to the report, the European Commission has said that only one in 1,000 ships is inspected for fuel compliance in EU ports.

"At the end of the day, it's all about maintaining a level playing field," said Mortensen.

Mortensen will also be speaking at the Platts 3rd Annual Mediterranean Bunker Fuel conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Maersk Line's sustainability head said earlier this year that European ECA enforcement should be more like North America's.