Amendments to the bunker delivery note entered into force on January 1, 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said. The amendments relate to the supply of marine fuel oil to ships which have fitted alternative mechanisms to address sulphur emission requirements. The amendment enters into force as the shipping industry counts down to January 1, 2020, when the limit for sulphur in fuel oil will be reduced to 0.50% m/m outside emission control areas (ECAs), from 3.5% currently. In ECAs, the limit will remain at 0.10% m/m. It applies to the four areas — the Baltic Sea area, the North Sea area, the North American area, and the US Caribbean Sea area. The amendments to Appendix V of MARPOL Annex VI are intended to address situations where the fuel oil supplied does not meet low sulphur requirements, but has been supplied to a ship which is using an alternative compliance method permitted under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI to reduce the sulphur oxide emissions of the ship in order to comply with MARPOL requirements. An equivalent means may be abatement technology such as a scrubber, if accepted by the flag state of a ship as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement. In October 2018, IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted a further amendment to MARPOL Annex VI, which will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship – unless the ship has an equivalent compliance method. This amendment is expected to enter into force on March 1, 2020. Also on January 1, 2019, amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to designate the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as ECAs for nitrogen oxides (NOx) entered into force. Both ECAs will take effect on January 1, 2021, and will result in considerably lower emissions of NOx from international shipping in those sea areas. From January 1, 2019, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above need to start collecting data on their fuel-oil consumption, under the mandatory data collection reporting requirements which entered into force in March 2018. The aggregated data is reported to the flag state and transferred to IMO. The data collection system is one of the measures taken which will support the implementation of IMO’s Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, adopted in 2018. What is more, the 2017 set of amendments (04-17) to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) cargoes entered into force on January 1, 2019. The amendments include requirements for the shipper to declare whether or not a solid bulk cargo, other than grain, is harmful to the marine environment. Other amendments include updated carriage requirements for a number of specific cargoes and amendments to highlighting the responsibility of the shipper for ensuring that a test to determine the transportable moisture limit (TML) of a solid bulk cargo is conducted.


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