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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Who carries the can when ultra high-sulphur residual fuel is sold that breaches ISO and IMO limits?

This week saw a notification of heavy residual fuel oil being sold in Italy with a sulphur content above the 4.5% specified by ISO and therefore above the limit set by international regulation as per Regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI.


Not only could this put a ship whose owner buys this product in breach of international regulation if it flies the flag of a country, or is trading in the waters of countries, that have ratified MARPOL Annex VI, but it also increases the risk of piston ring and liner wear if the lubricants are inadequate or otherwise not matched to the fuel.


The owner of a ship buying such fuel could face the heavy hand of the law and/or the heavy hand of his charterer with the risk of his ship being penalised commercially for being in contravention of prevailing international regulations.


But why is there no penalty imposed on the refiner and the marketing company for putting on the market such product?  And how long will governments take to develop national legislation to allow authorities effectively to monitor and enforce the law?


Contact: Bill Box