As adopted during the MEPC 73 vide their Resolution MEPC.305(73), amendments to MARPOL VI, regarding prohibition on the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship with effect from 01 March 2020, Member Authorities of the Indian Ocean MOU have been issuing the “letter of information” to the vessels since September 2019, to make awareness in advance about the implementation of the prohibition of use of non-compliant fuel.
These new requirements prohibit the use of non-compliant fuel from 1 January 2020 and further the carriage of non-compliant fuel, for use on the ship, from 1 March 2020, unless the ship is fitted with an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS).
The importance is, therefore, placed on the requirements entering into force on 1 March 2020 prohibiting the carriage of non-compliant fuel, for use on ships not equipped with EGCSs.
As indicated in the letter, there are three options for ship owners and operators to comply:
1. Use of compliant fuel oil with sulphur content not more than 0.50% m/m; 2. Use an alternative fuel, such as LNG, with a sulphur content of 0.50 % m/m or less; or 3. Fit an alternative means of compliance, such as an EGCS approved under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.
From 1 March 2020 onwards, non-compliant fuel can only be carried on board, for use on the ship, where the vessel is fitted with an EGCS and where compliant fuel cannot be obtained, a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) must be submitted to the flag State and the Competent Authority in the next port of call.