News 20 Nov, 2014

Reduction of the SECA Fuel Oil Sulphur Limit

Members are reminded that an amendment to MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.4, for ships operating within a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) is due to enter into force on 1 January 2015 to further reduce the emission of sulphur oxides (SOx).

As of that date, vessels operating within any of the four existing SECAs: the Baltic Sea, the North Sea including the English Channel, the North American and the United States Caribbean Sea areas must use fuel oil containing no more than 0.10% m/m (by weight) SOx, a reduction from the present limit of 1.00%.

Although the use of low sulphur fuel oil will be the principal means of compliance, MARPOL Annex VI allows vessels to comply with the regulations by utilising a “fitting, material, appliance or apparatus” such as exhaust gas cleaning technology, or by “other procedures, alternative fuel oils or compliance methods” such as onboard blending of fuel oil or the use of dual fuel (gas/liquid). When an alternative means of compliance is used it must be “at least as effective in terms of emission reductions as that required by this Annex”. Any alternative means of compliance must be approved by the vessel’s Flag Administration.

Members trading within SECAs are advised to ensure their vessels have sufficient quantities of low sulphur fuel onboard in advance of the introduction of the new regulation on 1 January 2015.

Members requiring further guidance are advised to contact the Loss Prevention department.