27 Aug 2019

Joint Industry Guidance on the supply and use of 0.50%-sulphur marine fuel

In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed a global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) to become effective on 1 January 2020. The implementation of this regulation will have far-reaching implications throughout the marine fuel supply chain, and will require detailed consideration by all parties associated with the production, distribution, storage, handling and use of these fuels.

For this reason, a Joint Industry Project (JIP) has been established to raise awareness of these issues. This document is one of the outcomes of the JIP. It provides guidance on the technical and safety implications of the new requirement for max. 0.50%-sulphur fuels, and is applicable to personnel involved in the marine fuels and shipping industries, from fuel blenders and suppliers through to end users. It provides a background to the MARPOL1 Annex VI regulation as it affects the change to a new marine fuel regime, and addresses issues such as fuel compatibility, fuel stability, and fuel handling and storage, together with the operational factors that can affect safety. It makes frequent reference to IMO, CIMAC and ISO documents which should be consulted as necessary.

This guidance document does not relieve any of the concerned parties (suppliers, purchasers and end users) of any of their responsibilities and obligations concerning the supply and use of marine fuel oil with a maximum of 0.50% m/m sulphur content. The document may be revised periodically as needed. In addition, the partners to the JIP are using this guidance as the basis for developing an e-learning course module for relevant stakeholders. The guidance is not intended to dictate the participants’ commercial decision-making processes in any way, and is subject to the participants’ individual corporate and commercial objectives.

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