IMO increases focus on 2020 fuel safety


The IMO has agreed to back a proposal submitted by BIMCO and fellow industry associations to have the Marine Safety Committee (MSC) take a more robust stance when it comes to expected safety implications of compliant fuel ahead of the IMO 0.50% sulphur limit coming into force on 1 January 2020. 

BIMCO and industry partners attending the 100th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 100) in London on 3–7 December 2018 had proposed that expected safety implications with the introduction of 2020 compliant fuels should also be considered by the MSC.

The MARPOL Annex VI is primarily dealt with by the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) and part of the Annex regulates the 0.50% fuel oil sulphur limit that will enter into force on 1 January 2020.

In parallel with the environmental aspects of reducing the sulphur content in fuels, concerns have been raised regarding the safety related to handling and using blends and other new fuels that will be introduced to fulfil the industry’s fuel demand in 2020.

At the meeting, it was decided that while the environmental part of fuel issues should remain under the auspices of the MEPC in MARPOL, the MSC should take a more robust stance on issues related to fuel oil safety.

A proposal to establish a bunker supplier licensing scheme was also considered at the MSC 100 meeting and supported by several member states. It was decided that this proposal would be further considered by the MEPC.


Mette Kronholm Frænde
in Copenhagen, DK


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VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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