The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been working for many years to reduce the harmful impact of shipping to the environment. As part of ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution from the burning of marine fuels, the IMO recently announced that the proposed 0.50% global sulfur cap on marine fuels will come into effect on January 1, 2020. This is a significant reduction from the current limit of 3.50%. Within sulfur emission control areas (SECAs), the sulfur limit remains at the 0.10% level established in 2015.
To ensure compliance with marine fuel regulations, ship owners must ensure they use fuel that meet specifications in all locations, i.e. monitor the fuel’s sulfur level in the settling tank during the fuel switch over before entering SECAs.
Government laboratories may also perform spot-checks on the ships in the SECA ports to ensure compliance. In this case, the analytical equipment used for the test will need to be fully portable.
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