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  • 07/01/2020 10:13 AM

    New rules clean up global shipping  

    Ships around the world will be made to reduce their sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions following a new global regulation that came into effect on 1 January 2020.

    Set by the International Maritime Organisation, the new rule, known as IMO 2020, will mean ships of all sizes must use fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0.50 per cent m/m (mass by mass), down from the previous 3.50 per cent.

    The IMO says this will result in a 77 per cent drop in overall SOx emissions from ships — around 8.5 million metric tonnes of SOx a year.

    Image: IMO 2020 requires all ships in the world to reduce their sulphur oxide emissions

    With many ships using heavy ‘bunker’ fuel during operation, the new ruling has been implemented to drastically improve air quality and reduce pollution from the world’s shipping fleets — especially in ports and coastal areas.

    Applicable to all countries, the IMO has been working with international stakeholders for years to prepare for these changes. In Australia, the new requirements will be managed and enforced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which regulates shipping emissions in Australian waters.

    AMSA has already set emissions regulations for cruise ships in Sydney to use low sulphur fuel (maximum 0.10% m/m) while at berth, but the IMO 2020 rules will mean all ships in Australian ports and at sea must now use fuel with a low sulphur content.

    Compliance and enforcement guidelines for the IMO 2020 rules in Australia are available on AMSA’s website.

    Find out more about ship emissions in Australia


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