In recent days, there have been reports that the Ministry of Transport in Beijing has now banned open-loop scrubbers from the country’s emission control areas (ECAs), which now cover most of China’s territorial waters.
Sources familiar with the matter have however told BIMCO that according to the updated regulation, the banned areas for discharging wastewater from scrubbers remain within inland ECAs, port waters under coastal DECA and the Bohai Bay waters only.
A full ban on open-loop scrubbers could, however, be adopted soon, sources familiar with the matter also told BIMCO.
In November, regulators said ships equipped with scrubbers were permitted to carry and use High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO), subject to emissions monitoring, and that scrubber waste and water must be disposed of according to relevant regulation. This remains the case.
In October, there was speculation that China was planning a ban on open loop scrubbers. Chinese officials confirmed to BIMCO at the time that there were no immediate plans to impose a ban on the technology, as long as they were in compliance with prevailing regulation.