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            october 18, 2019

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Singapore updates its guidance on IMO 2020


Singapore, the world's largest bunkering port, unveiled further measures to help the industry prepare for the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) impending global sulphur limit rule for marine fuels.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said it had, in collaboration with the Singapore Shipping Association, published the second edition of two technical guides on the IMO 2020 rule.
The guides contain details on Singapore's implementation plan for the rule as well as the outcome of the 74th session of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee held in May, reports Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide.
The MPA will inspect Singapore-registered ships and foreign-registered ships calling at Singapore in accordance with the Flag State and Port State Control regimes, respectively, Quah Ley Hoon, CEO of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said at an industry event in Singapore.
Ships will be selected for inspection of the vessel based on a risk matrix, which takes into account the compliance option of the vessel and whether a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report, or FONAR, has been submitted, she said.
"Our inspectors will also be equipped with portable sulphur kits for on site testing of in-use fuel," she said, adding that "if necessary, we may send the fuel oil sample to the laboratory for detailed fuel oil analysis."
These measures come after the city-port last year announced a raft of moves and released two technical guidance booklets in November 2018 to aid preparations for the rule, which is set to usher in significant costs worldwide as well as operational challenges.
The IMO will cap global sulphur content in marine fuels at 0.5 per cent starting January 1, 2020, from 3.5 per cent currently. This applies outside the designated emission control areas where the limit is already 0.1 per cent.
Shipowners will have to switch to more expensive cleaner fuels, consider alternative fuels such as LNG, or use high sulphur fuel oil with scrubbers to comply with this rule.
A number of top shipowners in Singapore, including BW Group, Maersk Tankers, Pacific Carriers, AET, and Pacific International Lines, have already indicated that they are ready for the transition to IMO 2020, Ms Hoon said.
Two oil majors have also successfully completed on-board fuel oil trials of low sulphur fuel oil in Singapore, she said.
"Ship operators have also shared with us that their vessels already have existing procedures in place to minimize the commingling of fuel oils using bunker segregation," she said.
"Like the violation of other MARPOL Annex VI requirements, the owner and the master of the ship may be fined up to S$10,000 (US$7,392) or imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, or both, for non-compliance of these regulations," an MPA spokeswoman told S&P Global Platts in April.
Goh Chung Hun, director (shipping), and deputy director of marine shipping division for MPA, said at the event on Thursday that the punitive measures were not new as they "were not just written two months ago for IMO 2020 sulphur non-compliance."
They are part of Singapore legislation passed in 2005 for MARPOL Annex VI, he said.

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