IMO’s MSC committee adopts fuel oil safety measures

Credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The 101st session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) met 5–14 June to discuss the safety issues associated with the 2020 sulphur emissions cap.

With the sulphur cap set to force vessels to use new types of fuel oil, the MSC adopted interim measures to enhance the safety of using these fuels on ships. The resolution recognises the need for the shipping industry to consider safety issues associated with oil fuel, as well as reiterating the importance of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations.

For SOLAS contracting governments, the recommendations included;

• That they inform the organisation, for transmission to Parties and Member States of the Organization, of all confirmed cases where oil fuel suppliers delivered oil fuel failing to meet the requirements specified in SOLAS regulation II-2/4.2.1, taking into account regulation 18.9.6 of MARPOL Annex VI;

• That they take action as appropriate against oil fuel suppliers in confirmed cases of deliveries of oil fuel that does not comply with the requirements

• The need to encourage the widest possible application of the latest edition of relevant industry standards and guidance to enhance the safety of ships related to supply and use of oil fuel; inform the organisation, of confirmed cases where oil fuel suppliers delivered fuel that jeopardised the safety of ships or personnel; or adversely affected the performance of the machinery.

A Correspondence Group on Oil Fuel Safety was also established at the committee meeting. The group aims to develop mandatory requirements regarding oil fuel supplier infringement reporting, as well as appropriate actions to be taken against these entities.

The group will also consider the development of requirements regarding the fuel batches and guidelines for crew when they encounter fuel oil that does not comply with the regulations.