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Non compliance of IMO 2020 leads to hefty fines at major ports

PORT enforcement agencies in the US and around the world have stepped up their oversight of the IMO 2020 low sulphur fuel regulation on March 1 to include detaining and fining ships found to be carrying noncompliant fuel

08 March 2020 - 19:00

PORT enforcement agencies in the US and around the world have stepped up their oversight of the IMO 2020 low sulphur fuel regulation on March 1 to include detaining and fining ships found to be carrying noncompliant fuel.

Starting March 1, ships found merely storing - not just burning - high sulphur, noncompliant fuel will be in violation of the regulation. Ships outfitted with a scrubber system that can clean higher sulphur fuel exhaust gas after it's burned in the engine are exempt, reported American Shipper.



'Since the introduction of IMO 2020 on 1st January, ships have been given a 'grace period' while the industry transitions to low-sulphur fuel,' London-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) secretary general Guy Platten said in a statement. 'As of March 1 this will no longer be the case. Any ship found in non-compliance faces the prospect of serious fines and even detention.'



Mr Platten noted that the ICS 'has been made aware that major port state inspection regimes including the United States Coast Guard and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that detention of ships found to be non-compliant is both possible and legally permissible.'



In addition to supply chain costs incurred by delays associated with an unanticipated vessel detention, the Coast Guard has confirmed that vessel owners may first receive a warning letter for violating the IMO 2020 regulation.



The Coast Guard could also issue an owner a 'Notice of Violation', which could include penalties of US$2,000 to $10,000. In addition, owners could potentially be liable for civil penalties assessed by the US Environmental Protection Agency of $75,000 per violation per day.



Mr Platten emphasised that ICS information shows shipowners as fully compliant and ready for the new enforcement regime. 'We are simply reminding shipowners and operators that these new rules will come into force.'


WORLD SHIPPING

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