At least two ships in Chinese waters have been found to be using fuel that’s non-compliant with the IMO’s new 0.5 per cent sulphur limit, which was introduced at the start of the year, according to a report by the marine insurer Standard Club.
The first ship was under a port state control inspection in Qingdao when the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) verified the use of fuel oil with a sulphur content of 0.6777% mm.
The second ship was berthed in Xiamen when the MSA cited it with burning non-compliant fuel.
The vessel had been at berth for six days after changing over to a compliant fuel, but the MSA insisted it was likely that previous high sulphur fuel residue remained in the engine fuel system which would lead to emissions above China's environmental limits.
The ship was ordered to take immediate measures to purify its fuel system.
It is not clear yet whether the MSA will fine either of the ships as a result of the infractions.
According to the Chinese implementation plan of IMO 2020, the MSA will handle infractions in accordance with China’s Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control Law.
Article 106 of the law states that ships using non-compliant fuels will be fined more than US$1,500 but less than US$14,500.