MSC said it is in discussions with the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) of the UAE following the detainment of its container ship MSC Joanna
As of 1 March 2020, the IMO carriage ban is enforceable and non-compliant vessels are prohibited from entering UAE waters.
The 9,200-TEU container vessel MSC Joanna entered UAE’s Jebel Ali port after the 1 March deadline carrying 700 tonnes of high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) in contravention of the carriage ban and in spite of warnings from the UAE’s FTA to debunker non-compliant fuel.
The vessel has been banned from the UAE for a year, and the FTA has said it will initiate legal proceedings against the vessel’s master.
According to a statement from MSC, “All vessels requiring compliant fuel were supplied in advance of the implementation date.”
The box shipping giant said it is "fully committed to the sulphur regulation" across its fleet of 520 ships.
“We have sufficient arrangements in place for compliant low-sulphur fuel to maintain our commitment to IMO 2020, and we will implement orders for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) as part of a planned diversification strategy where appropriate in due course,” MSC said.
MSC has undertaken scrubber installations on many of its vessels and said MSC Joanna had been due to have an EGCS installed but that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the work being delayed.
The vessel is now scheduled to have an EGCS installed in June 2020, the line said.
On 22 December 2019, the UAE FTA issued circular No 11 2019 which stated that from 1 January 2020 all UAE-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels entering the country’s waters are to use fuel oil with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50% m/m.
The circular provided that exemptions apply only to vessels that use alternative measures such as a scrubber or fuel compliant with emissions levels. In addition, vessels using non-compliant fuel must submit a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) before departing the last port and at least 48 hours before entering UAE waters.