What's New :

IMO adopts 2020 global limit for sulphur in ship's fuel oil

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    4th Nov, 2018
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reduced global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships to new 0.50 per cent limit from the current 3.50 per cent.
  • It will come into force from 1 January 2020, under IMO's MARPOL treaty.

Context

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reduced global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships to new 0.50 per cent limit from the current 3.50 per cent.
  • It will come into force from 1 January 2020, under IMO's MARPOL treaty.

About

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been working to reduce harmful impacts of shipping on the environment since the 1960s.
  • Currently, the maximum sulphur limit in fuel oil is 3.50% globally and 0.10 % in the four Emission Controlled Areas (ECAs)
  • These ECAs are:
    1. the Baltic Sea area;
    2. the North Sea area;
    3. the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada);
    4. The United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).

MARPOL Convention

  • The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships ( also known as MARPOL Convention) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
  • The MARPOL Convention was adopted in 1973 at IMO.
  • Annex VI to MARPOL Convention was adopted in 1997 to address air pollution from Ships (entered into force 19 May 2005).
  • Different Annex in the treaty deals with prevention of pollution by different sources.

    Annex I  

     by Oil

    Annex II 

     by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk

    Annex III

     by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form 

    Annex IV

     by Sewage from Ships  

    Annex V

     by Garbage from Ships

    Annex VI

     from  Air Pollution generated by Ships 


    International Maritime Organization

    IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry including ship design, construction, equipment, manning, operation and disposal. It supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. SDG 14 (Life below Water-conserving and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources) is central to IMO.



Significance

  • Reduction in emission of Sulphur oxide will improve air quality particularly for inhabitants living close to ports and coasts as Sulphur oxides are known to be harmful to human health. In the atmosphere, it can lead to acid rain, which can harm crops, forests and aquatic species, and contributes to the acidification of the oceans.
  • Demand for the liquefied Natural Gas will rise due to costly sulphur 2020 complaint fuel.
  • To avoid fuel ban, ships could dump pollutants at sea and install emission cheat systems.

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