(Reuters) – The United Nations’ shipping agency on Friday adopted a ban on ships being able to carry marine fuel with high sulfur unless they have special equipment on board, further tightening regulations that will come into force in 2020.
The UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set new rules that will prohibit ships from using fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5 percent from Jan. 1 2020, compared with 3.5 percent now, unless they are equipped with so-called scrubbers to clean up sulfur emissions.
Ships in breach will face fines or the risk of impoundment by IMO member states.
The IMO’s adoption of restrictions on high sulfur fuel to be used or carried for use on board a ship is aimed at ensuring greater enforcement of the regulations.
The ban on the carriage of high-sulfur fuels will come into force on March 1, 2020.
“The amendment does not change in any way the entry into force date of the 0.50 percent limit from Jan 1, 2020. It is intended as an additional measure to support consistent implementation and compliance and provide a means for effective enforcement by states, particularly port state control,” the IMO said on Friday.
Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by David Evans