EU Sulphur Directive - sulphur content of Marine Gas Oil at 0.1%

According to the provisions originating from European Union (EU) Directives 1999/32/EC and 2005/33/EC relating to the use of Marine Gas Oil (MGO) in EU territory, from 1 January 2008, the MGO used within the EU territory should have a maximum sulphur limit of 0.1% by mass. This includes the MGO used by ships in territorial seas and on inland waterways, but excludes that used by ships in the territory of Greece, the French DOM-TOM (Overseas Departments & Territories), Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands. Please note that the specification of DMA grade under ISO 8217:2005  does not reflect a maximum sulphur content of 0.1%.

 

The EU Member States will monitor compliance with the relevant provisions of articles 4a and 4b of the EU Directive 2005/33/EC. The following means of sampling, analysis and inspection will be used as appropriate:

 

·          Sampling of the marine fuel for on-board consumption while being delivered to ships, following IMO Guidelines, and analysis of its sulphur content;

·          Sampling and analysis of the sulphur content of marine fuel for on-board consumption contained in tanks, where feasible, and in sealed bunker samples on board ships;

·          Inspection of ships' log books and bunker delivery notes.

 

Therefore, ship owners need to ensure that the MGO to be used in EU territory must be accompanied by a bunker delivery note that states it has a sulphur content of 0.1% by mass or less.

 

No changes will be made for DMB and DMC grade Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009, during which period it is required to have a maximum sulphur limit of 1.5% by mass. Ships using MDO need to ensure that the name of this product and its sulphur content is clearly specified in the bunker delivery note.

 

To further clarify these complicated regulations:

 

  • Before 1 January 2010, the EU Sulphur Directives (1999/32/EC and 2005/33/EC) do not require the use of MGO or MDO but, in case ships use one of these fuels, then they have to comply with the stipulated sulphur limitations.

 

  • Before 1 January 2010, the EU Sulphur Directives (1999/32/EC and 2005/33/EC), in line with the MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14, require that fuels (type not specified) used in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel (so-called SECAs) should have a sulphur content of maximum 1.50% by mass.

 

  • From 1 January 2010, the provisions of EU Sulphur Directives (1999/32/EC and 2005/33/EC) will require that all types of marine fuel used by ships at berth in EU ports and by inland waterway vessels should have a maximum sulphur content of 0.1%.

 Contact: Dragos Rauta