Vessels calling at Israeli ports will have to use marine fuels with a 0.10% maximum sulphur under new regulations in effect in February 2023
10 January 2023
Notice to: Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors/Auditors
Israel authorities have enacted a new regulation that will put in place measures for ships at berth similar to those set forth by the EU Sulphur Directive. Reference is made to the website of the Israeli Ministry of Transportation (in Hebrew only).
From 23 February 2023, ships calling at Israel ports and designated anchorages will be required to use marine fuels with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10%.
For the moments there aren’t any detailed guidelines have been issued that clarify how the new regulation will be enforced in practice. Ship operators are therefore advised to look to the EU Sulphur Directive and liaise with their local agents in Israel to obtain relevant requirements and best practice recommendations prior to entering Israeli ports and anchorages.
Some of the key ports in Israel include the ports of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Hadera, Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv.
Ports in Israel have been struggling with heavy pollution.
According to a study, released in 2019 by the Israel government, it was found that the marine sector at both Haifa and Ashdod Ports was creating heavy air pollution, specifically regarding nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides, which were damaging the air quality of populated areas. The extent of this pollution is higher than previously thought.
The study recommended technological and regulatory measures to be taken to reduce emissions from vessels including incentives to shipowners to use alternative fuels and install technologies onboard for vessels to be able to use shore power. Implementation of maritime regulations in Israel has been delayed, including IMO 2020, due to political instability in the country over the past two years.
The new government established in November 2022 has signed off on the coming into force of the regulation that requires the contents of sulphur in the fuel oil in the vessels not to exceed 0.50% m/m and if the vessels are at pier for the purpose of loading or discharging, not more than 0.10% m/m. The regulation allows for the inspection of non-Israeli vessels calling at the country’s ports and terminals if the authorities are provided with evidence that the vessels in question might have breached the emissions levels.
The measure is being announced on the back of the recent designation of the Mediterranean Sea as Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides as Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matters.
Although the Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and particulate matter was recently adopted at MEPC 79, it will not take effect until 2025. The State of Israel, in enacting the new regulations, will put in place measures similar to the EU directive for ships at berth.
Accordingly, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships whilst in all Israeli ports and/or designated anchorage areas should be not more than 0.10% mass by mass (m/m).
The new rules will enter force on 23 February 2023.