Supporting Effective Enforcement of IMO’s 2020 Global Sulphur Limit

The International Maritime Organization’s 2020 Global Sulphur Limit Regulation, which is a significant challenge for the shipping industry, came into effect as of 1 January 2020. It limits the sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to O.5O% m/m (mass by mass), from 3.5O% m/m. Monitoring and enforcement of the new limit is the responsibility of Governments and national authorities of member States that are Parties to MARPOL Annex VI. To facilitate capacity building regarding the new regulation, a cooperation agreement between the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and the World Maritime University (WMU) brought administrations together in a workshop format to share knowledge on sulphur enforcement in three key regions - Africa, Asia & the Caribbean. Three workshops were supported by the Danish Maritime Fund, with contributions from the Danish Ministry of Environment. 

The last of the three workshops, the International P2P MTCC Africa Workshop on IMO Global Sulphur Limit 2020, took place during 30-31 March 2021. Due to the pandemic, the workshop was hosted online by MTCC Africa and was delivered in cooperation between the WMU and the DMA. 

The MTCC-Africa workshop provided the opportunity to discuss and share solutions and best practices for effective enforcement. Indicative topics included, among others, the associated legal basis, fuel samples, document checks, targeting mechanisms, remote sensing and use of sniffers, training of inspectors and sanctions.

The role of WMU was to provide an overall view on air pollution resulting from international shipping with a focus on air pollutants as well as conducting case studies along with DMA colleagues. DMA and Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) experts presented best practices from the SECA regions. Challenges with regard to compliance and enforcement of the new IMO’s 2020 (Global) Sulphur Limit were highlighted by regional representatives. A strong and practical element of the workshop included the opportunity for participant groups to focus on case studies of particular local relevance.

MTCC Africa provided valuable support for the workshop and its online delivery. WMU was represented by Professor Aykut I. Ölcer and Associate Professor Dimitrios Dalaklis. A total of 39 participants were in attendance from Cameroon, Comoros, Denmark, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Tunisia, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

The first Global Sulphur Limit workshop for Asia was delivered in Myanmar in January of 2020. The second workshop was held virtually 19-21 January 2021 for the Caribbean region.

The IMO’s initial GHG strategy has accelerated the momentum of decarbonization efforts in the shipping industry. WMU is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and plays a key role WMU in capacity building, education and research in Maritime Energy Management in support of Goal 7 focused on affordable energy for all and Goal 13 focused on urgent action to combat climate change.

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