The International Maritime Organosation (IMO) has said that under its treaties ships can be surveyed and certified either by officers of the relevant flag State, or by Recognized Organizations (ROs) acting on behalf of them.
IMO noted that as part of this process, countries delegating surveys and certification to ROs need to recognize, authorize and monitor these organizations, which was the subject of a regional IMO workshop that recently took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
According to IMO, the event assisted participants from Arab and Mediterranean States to meet their responsibilities under IMO’s RO Code, which entered into force in January 2015. Participants were provided with knowledge on the harmonized, transparent and independent mechanisms that can assist in consistent oversight of ROs.
The workshop was organised in close cooperation with the Federal Transport Authority of the UAE and Abu Dhabi Ports, under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme to support maritime development in the Arab States and Mediterranean region.
As sulphur limit implementation takes effect in 2020
In the meantime, IMO has said consistent implementation is the only option when it comes to the 0.50% limit on sulphur in fuel oil, which comes into force in 2020.
Speaking at a conference for the refining and petrochemical industry in Athens, Greece ended November 15, IMO’s Edmund Hughes reminded delegates that the 2020 global sulphur limit will enter into force on 1 January 2020, without any delay.
“How to ensure consistent implementation will be the subject of important discussions at the next session of IMO’S Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 5), both at its session in February 2018 and during an intersessional working group to be held later in 2018. Compliance, enforcement and monitoring will be the remit and responsibility of both flag States and port States. The bunkering industry will also have a part to play in ensuring high sulphur fuel oil continues to be supplied to ships equipped with approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”, said Hughes
He reminded delegates of the commercial imperative for ships to be compliant. In addition to possible detention – which would make the ship a high risk for future port State inspection decisions – a non-compliant ship could be considered as being “unseaworthy”, so affecting their charter party and also indemnity in the event of an insurance claim.