Implementation of 0.5% fuel sulphur cap in Hong Kong

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The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Global 0.5% Sulphur Cap regulation will come into force on 1 January 2020, whereby the sulphur content in fuel oils used on board ships must not exceed 0.5% m/m (mass by mass). In order to achieve compliance before the deadline, various Flag Administrations are in the process of implementing this regulation on board vessels registered with them. The Club has produced an infographic with more details on the impending regulation.

The Environment Protection Department of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region recently issued a press release which stated that their Legislative Council has approved the Air Pollution Control (Fuel for Vessels) Regulation (Cap. 311AB) (“the Regulation”) thereby applying a 0.5% sulphur limit for ships visiting their ports from 1 January 2019. This effective date precedes the implementation of the IMO’s Global Sulphur Cap 2020 by one year.

This regulation requires all applicable vessels to use compliant fuels within Hong Kong waters, irrespective of whether they are sailing or berthing. Vessels utilising emission reduction technology that achieves the same result as using 0.5% sulphur content compliant fuels, may be exempted from using these fuels. However these arrangements would need to be discussed with the Hong Kong marine department in advance for the exemptions to be granted.

This regulation also stipulates that for ocean going vessels operating in Hong Kong waters, written procedures for conducting fuel switch operations must be kept on board.  Furthermore a precise record must be recorded in the log books of the times when the vessel enters and exits the waters of Hong Kong and the particulars about the fuel switch operations. The ship log book and bunker delivery notes must be kept on board for a period of three years.

Failure to comply with the regulation may result in the Master and owner being subject to fines and imprisonment.

For further information, kindly refer to the press release or contact the Loss Prevention Team.

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