In advance of the onset of the global 0.5% limit on sulphur in fuel, Liberia has submitted a paper to IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) calling for early reporting on the global availability of compliant fuel oil ahead of the 1 January 2020 implementation date.
The Liberian Registry's US-based arm, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) said governments and fuel oil suppliers should take responsibility for ensuring the 'safety' of fuel oils and report availablity of compliant fuels to IMO.
In a statement, LISCR vice president David Pascoe said shipowners and operators have a “disproportionate responsibility” for addressing the “challenges” related to the global fuel oil sulphur limit and “should not need to guess where or whether compliant fuel will be available”.
“Smooth and effective implementation requires co-operation and compliance by all stakeholders, including states and fuel oil suppliers,” Mr Pascoe said. “It is critical that states carry out their responsibilities under Marpol and SOLAS to promote the availability of fuel oils that are safe and which comply with the new sulphur limit, and report availability in their ports and terminals to IMO. IMO has established the means for states to effectively report through IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System.”
Mr Pascoe said the Liberian Registry was urging IMO to issue a resolution calling on states to report availabilty of compliant fuels well in advance of 1 January 2020. This, he said was to help shipowners and operators “meet their responsibilities and to gain experience on the carriage and use of the new fuels on their ships, to test implementation plans, and to assist in a smooth and effective transition to the new regulatory requirements”.
Liberia’s submission to IMO comes after it co-sponsored an IMO paper proposing to establish an “Experience Building Phase (EBP) to help address the safety implications and other challenges associated with 2020-compliant fuels”, with major flags and industry organisations.
Liberia said its EBP proposal was not intended to delay the 1 January 2020 compliance date. “That date has been agreed previously and supported by Liberia,” the group said.