View above about Issue: Our Odds IMO2020 is NOT Enforced
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On 1 April 2020, with the unprecedented coronavirus lockdown in the UK barely two weeks old, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that it had suspended routine port state control inspections, including enforcing the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) 0.50pc sulphur cap. Port authorities in the rest of Europe and worldwide have not stated so overtly that enforcing the environmental legislation is being sidelined as they prioritise health and the movement of freight. However, according to Beth Bradley, maritime law specialist and partner at commercial law firm Hill Dickinson, a full picture of how well the global shipping industry is complying with IMO 2020 and the effectiveness of enforcement action will not emerge until after the Covid-19 pandemic has receded. “The MCA has been pretty clear that they aren’t going to routinely check for IMO 2020 compliance, but my impression is that nowhere is testing or checking taking place in the way that it would have been had the pandemic not occurred,” she says. “Ports aren’t advertising that this is the case, but it is a realistic position as they are hard pressed in terms of staff numbers and are prioritising issues such as crew changeovers in the wake of Covid-19.
As stated by the Federal Transport Authority Chairman, Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE has promised to take up a more flexible approach towards all those who breach the IMO 2020 rules. He added, “It’s not going to be right from day one. It’s very important to realize that we look at things not in terms of ‘either you do this or you will be paralyzed.’ We think: ‘what would be the easiest way for you to operate within our environment?” He further said that even though the UAE consented to the rules in May, it won’t punish non-compliant ships. Since, the place is home to Fujairah, where thousands of ships go to refuel each other when calling at ports in the oil rich Middle East, the position of the nation is important. Speaking on the issue, Managing Director at Port of Fujairah, Mousa Murad said, “UAE authorities nevertheless do anticipate a high level of compliance. Vessels with the wrong fuel in their tanks won’t be welcome.” Full compliance with the new IMO 2020 rules might take almost two years.
Ioannis Plakiotakis, Greece's shipping minister, told the IMO assembly that more time was needed for a thorough assessment of the safety implications that the new regulations would create for vessels and crews, according to maritime news provider Lloyd's List. An IMO spokesperson told the news provider that any postponement or delay to the January 1 implementation of the new limit was not feasible procedurally or legally.
Russia proposes to hold off a tougher international sulfur cap on marine fuel emissions until 2024 for river vessels in the Eurasian Economic Union, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy said Tuesday. If Eurasian Economic Union decides to not comply with IMO2020, it MAY cause other countries and economic unions to delay implementation and not comply leading to lower demand for Marine Scrubbers.