IBIA Gets Fuel Oil Carriage Ban Crystal Clear for Bunker Barges

Monday April 16, 2018

Bunker industry association IBIA has successfully amended the carriage of high sulfur bunker carriage ban text to make it clear that bunker barges taking bunker fuel to scrubber-equipped ships do not come under the ban.

IBIA was concerned that the regulation's text might be seen as covering bunker barges legitimately going about their business and so put forward an amendment at last week's Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC72) in London to clarify the text.

"Our proposal received strong support as the need for a clear, unambiguous text was recognised," IBIA said.

The submission, which was put to MEPC 72 by IBIA and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association, called for a small modification to prevent unintended consequences.

With the amendment in place, the carriage ban moves to formal adoption at MEPC73 to come into force from March 1, 2020.

The bunker fuel carriage ban is seen by many as instrumental in establishing a level-playing field between players in the shipping industry.

From January 1, 2020, all ships must use bunker fuel with 0.5% sulfur unless equipped with scrubber  technology also known as emissions abatement technologly. The current main grade of bunker fuel contains 3.5% sulfur.