IBIA: Balance is best (file image/pixabay)
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has called for balanced approach to the debate over industry compliance with the coming 0.5% sulfur cap on bunker fuel.
The organisation, which represents bunker industry interests, said that a considered response to the issue was preferable to taking a position at either end of the scale of being overly optimistic or overly pessimistic.
"There are legitimate concerns about compliance and effective enforcement but there are also equally legitimate reasons to expect a high level of compliance," IBIA said.
It went on: "The only real indication [on compliance] we have at the moment is statistics from the emission control areas (ECAs) in northern Europe, which has put non-compliance with the ECA limit at around 5%."
Some in the shipping industry have called for a ban on the carriage of non-compliant bunker fuel.
As an indication of where opinion in the bunker industry sits on this issue, a straw poll at IBIA’s recent conference in Singapore found that while a good number (38%) supported a carriage ban, a greater number (55%) thought there should be a ban but not until good availability of compliant fuels is evident.
Views will be aired at the International Maritime Organization's next Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response meeting in February.
At that meeting, "IBIA, along with other stakeholders, will be discussing ways to put global shipping on track to comply with the 0.50% sulphur limit", the organisation said.