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2020 Sulphur limit, SOx emissions – an account

In 2021 a new Joint Industry Survey is underway following the below one (see here)

INTERCARGO participated in a 2020 Joint Industry Survey to gain a greater understanding of the quality of the new fuel oils and possible safety implications of the IMO 2020 sulphur regulation (see here)

Before that, INTERCARGO published Media Releases in: March 2020 (see here), October 2019 (see here), July 2019 (see here) and (joint Round Table Release) in September 2019 (see here).

In view of the 2020 Regulation implementation, useful Guidance could be found here


At MEPC 70 (October 2016), the IMO agreed that the effective date of the 0.50% m/m global sulphur limit for bunkers shall be 1 January 2020. Important considerations at that time were outlined here. Along the way, options in view of 2020 were considerd e.g.  here and here.

Important deliberations at IMO with the active participation of INTERCARGO followed at:

  • the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response – PPR5 (February 2018, here)
  • MEPC 72 (April 2018, see here)
  • MSC 99 (May 2018, see here)
  • PPR’s Intersessional meeting (July 2018, see here)

INTERCARGO participated with positions to the 73rd Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73, in October 2018) (see here), which among other:

  • adopted that as of 1 March 2020, the sulphur content of fuel oil used or carried for use on board a ship shall not exceed 0.50% m/m.
  • agreed to invite further concrete proposals on how to enhance the implementation of regulation 18 of MARPOL Annex VI, in particular on reporting fuel oil quality and reporting of non-availability of compliant fuel oils, including the enhancement of GISIS modules for data collection and analysis

INTERCARGO published a Media Release in November 2018 (see here).

Further important deliberations at IMO with the active participation of INTERCARGO followed at:

  • MSC 100 (Dec. 2018, see here)
  • PPR 6 (Feb. 2019, see here)
  • MEPC 74 (May 2019, see here)
  • MSC 101 (June 2019, see here)