Assessing the progress on sulphur limit implementation, Lim
said that there has been a relatively smooth transition from 3.5 pct sulphur
content of ships’ fuel oil to 0.5 pct fuels.
The IMO added that as of 20 January, 10 cases of compliant
fuel being unavailable had been reported in IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping
Information System (GISIS), while the dedicated email address established by
the IMO Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) has not received any specific
correspondence reporting issues with implementation.
“I believe it is testimony to the diligence and dedication
of IMO, its Member States, the shipping industry, the fuel supply industry and
other relevant industries that such a major rule change is being implemented
successfully without significant disruption to maritime transport and those
that depend on it,” IMO Secretary-General said.
“The next important target is fast approaching, when
carrying non-compliant fuel oil on board ships becomes prohibited on March 1,
2020. I urge all shipowners, operators and masters to comply with the carriage
ban, where applicable, when it comes into effect. IMO will remain vigilant and ready to respond
and provide any support. I would like to thank, sincerely, IMO Member
Governments, the shipping industry and all stakeholders, including shippers and
the fuel oil supply industry, for their efforts so far and to ask for further
cooperation to ensure IMO 2020 is implemented properly.”
There have been a lot of concerns in the shipping community
with regard to picking the right compliance option, its safety, availability,
reliability and finally issues concerning the very policing of the compliance
Teething problems are still likely to occur, but initial
market reports claim that the industry seems to have done its homework and
prepared well for the sulphur cap implementation.