Head of legal and external affairs says there will be room for necessary revisions in sulphur cap
Frederick Kenney explains a delay before 2020 is not procedurally possible, but notes that all of the IMO’s regulation allows for a phase of experience-building
KENNEY: THERE IS SOME TIME BUILT IN WHERE THERE WILL BE LESSONS LEARNED.
THE sulphur cap regulations due to come into force in 2020 could undergo adjustments and changes, according to a senior International Maritime Organization official.
Speaking at a conference in London following industry calls for the introduction of an “experience-building phase” to the cap, IMO director for legal and external affairs Frederick Kenney said the regulatory system at the IMO is such that it allows for experience-building.
“The regime is flexible enough so that if there are adjustments that need to be made or changes that need to be, they can be made,” he told a panel debate at the Capital Link Forum.
It emerged last week that leading flag states and organisations have made a suggestion for a phase of building on experience to help address concerns over compliant fuel’s safety.
The proposal suggests that the regulation could be amended if data collected during experience-building showed significant problems.
While Mr Kenney said the chances of an actual delay in the date of the sulphur cap were slim to none — and that even if the proposal was made it is certainly too late — the cap almost has a period of experience-building included in it already.
Next month’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee is expected to approve ship implementation planning guidance as well as best practice guides for member states and fuel oil suppliers.
The committee is also expected to adopt an amendment aimed at supporting implementation of the 0.5% cap, known as the carriage ban. That ban will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system fitted.
“There is some time built in where there will be lessons learned, where there will be enforcement and compliance ramp-up and we can gauge and look at how the rule is actually being implemented,” Mr Kenney said.
Speaking at a separate panel, Navig8 Group chief executive Nicolas Busch said he did not believe the proposed experience-building phase would do much other than create an uneven playing field. That echoed other owners’ concerns.
He added that ambiguity in the implementation of one regulation spills over into future regulations, claiming that the Ballast Water Management Convention, which was partially delayed last year, has affected debate over the 2020 sulphur cap.