IMO FAQ on the 2020 global sulphur limit
27 April 2018 | C18015
The IMO has released a publication with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the new global sulphur limit of 0.50% m/m applicable on and after 1 January 2020.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Flag Administrations | Surveyors
IMO has set a global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 1 January 2020. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxide emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts.
Under the new global cap, ships will have to use fuel oil on board with a sulphur content of no more than 0.50% m/m, against the current limit of 3.50%, which has been in effect since 1 January 2012.
Since 1 January 2015 the sulphur limit for fuel oil used by ships in SOx Emission Control Areas (ECAS) established by IMO has been 0.10% m/m and this will remain unchanged after 01 January 2020 when the global limit applies. The ECAs established under MARPOL Annex VI for SOx are: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).
You may download the IMO Frequently Asked Questions Publications here.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators must start considering methods to comply with the new global sulphur limit. Ships may also meet the global limit for sulphur in fuel oil by using approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”, which “clean” the emissions before they are released into the atmosphere. In this case, the equivalent arrangement must be approved by the ship’s Administration (the flag State).