The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has announced it will ban the carriage of non-compliant fuels, following the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC) in London on 26 October.
It is an amendment to the IMO’s upcoming rules which will prohibit emitting more than 0.5% of sulphur (SOx) emission, due to come into effect in January 1 2020.
The non-compliant fuel ban will become law on March 1 2020, but ships will be exempt if they are fitted with a scrubber, an exhaust gas system that is designed to wash exhaust gases from the main auxiliary and boilers and reduce sulphur emission.
Installing a scrubber, the IMO says, is accepted as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement.
The forthcoming 2020 ban has prompted container shipping lines to research and apply eco-friendly technologies, particularly ones that utilize alternative fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In a statement, the IMO said: “The amendment does not change in any way the entry into force date of the 0.50% limit from 1 January 2020.
“It is intended as an additional measure to support consistent implementation and compliance and provide a means for effective enforcement by States, particularly port State control.
“Most ships are expected to utilize new blends of fuel oil which will be produced to meet the 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil”.