IMO Urged to Follow Through on HFO Ban


The International Maritime Organisation has been urged to renew its commitment to cutting the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by the Clean Arctic Alliance (CAA).

The CAA is a coalition of 18 non-governmental organisations working to end the use of HFO in Arctic waters.

During the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), the CAA called on IMO members to follow through on the agreement it made in April 2018 to ban the use and transportation of HFO by 2021.



The maritime industry has paid increasing attention to the potential of the Arctic as a shipping route as climate change has made it more accessible than it once was.

What is HFO and how does it affect the Arctic? Find out by reading a Port Technology technical paper

Maersk, the world’s biggest container line, sent the 3,600 TEU Venta Maersk along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in September 2018, a voyage it completed in 37 days.


Credit: Clean Arctic Alliance


In August 2018, an LNG powered carrier, the Christophe de Margerie, broke the NSR record when it travelled from the Russian port of Sabetta to the Bering Strait in 7 days.

PTI News – Maersk's Northern Sea Route in Pictures

Speaking about the need to ban HFO, Dr Sian Prior, lead advisor to the CAA, said: “IMO member states must be resolute in ensuring that the Arctic ban on heavy fuel oil is developed by 2020, and adopted in 2021, to protect Arctic ecosystems and communities from both the threat of oil spills and the impact of black carbon emissions.

“Discussions regarding impact assessments at MEPC73 must support, but not hinder progression towards the ban.  

“In addition, IMO member states have a duty to ensure that Arctic communities are not forced to carry any economic costs associated with a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil”.

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