The Merchant Shipping Directorate has issued a Technical Notice to remind all concerned that as from the 01st of January 2020, all ships subject to MARPOL Annex VI are, in principle, required to use on board fuel oils with a sulphur content of maximum 0.50% m/m in accordance with the revised MARPOL Annex VI regulation 14.1, or use alternative emission reduction and control technologies to comply with the emission standard.
In simpler terms, ship owners and operators have three options in order to comply, as follows:
1. Use compliant fuel with sulphur content not more than 0.50% m/m; or
2. Use an alternative fuel, such as LNG, with a sulphur content of 0.50 % m/m or less; or
3. Fit an alternative means of compliance, such as an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) approved under regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.
In instances where compliant fuel cannot be obtained a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (known as FONAR) shall be submitted to the Flag State and the Competent Authority of the next port of call, preferably before the ship leaves the port/terminal where compliant fuel cannot be obtained. The submission of a FONAR, is not to be considered as an outright exemption to the MARPOL Annex VI emission standard.
All ships operated under the Malta flag are urged to ensure compliance in order to avoid undue delays in ports.