The Chinese Ministry of Transport has announced new regulations requiring all ships imported for domestic use, and Chinese flagged ships for international use, to be compliant with IMO Tier II emissions standards from 1 September 2018, in a bid to cut NOx emissions from diesel engines.
The regulation will make a ¬decade’s-worth of ships ineligible for sale to Chinese domestic buyers and could result in a pick-up in the import of older second-hand ships to China before the September deadline.
Previously, regulations required imported ships to be younger than 18 years, and it had been widely expected that the age requirement for imported ships for domestic use would be tightened to 15 years.
The new regulation means however that by the end of the summer, the limit will be well under seven years, since the Tier II emission limits will be applied to all marine diesel engines installed on ships constructed on or after 1 January 2011, or which undergo a major conversion on or after 1 January 2011.
Sale and purchase business of old ships expected to pick up
The notice was issued on 3 July 2018, and the Chinese authorities are expected to strictly implement the notice when it comes into force.
“The new regulation will de facto reduce the age of imported ships, particularly dry bulk ships, from the previous age limit of 18 years to less than eight years,” BIMCO's regional manager Wei Zhuang says.
Under the regulation, there will be no impact on Chinese ships trading internationally, as they already comply with the Tier II emission limits. The regulation will however greatly impact all shipowners who intend to sell older tonnage to China, as well as Chinese shipowners who intend to import old ships for domestic operation.
Due to the 1 September deadline, the dry bulk sale and purchase business in China could see a pick-up over the next months, as the window is tightening for Chinese ship owners to import older second-hand ships from before 1 January 2011.