American Club: China Fines Foreign Flagged Ship for Violating Sulfur Cap Regulation

Maritime Safety Administrations (MSAs) in Chinese Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality have fined a foreign vessel for use of fuel with sulfur content over 0.5%, American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (American Club) informed.

While conducting the supervision and inspection survey of the foreign vessel that arrived at Tianjin Port, an MSA officer reportedly suspected that the vessel was using noncompliant fuel. It was not disclosed how the vessel was penalized, according to the American Club.

Sampling results showed that the sulfur content of the ship’s fuel was 0.866%, which exceeded the maximum content of 0.5% m/m.

According to the association, this is the first reported case of the usage of non-compliant fuel in China since the second and more stringent stage of control measures was implemented within the three designated emission control areas (ECAs) on January 1, 2017.

The latest control measure requires ships to use fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5% during berthing at eleven key ports – excluding one hour after anchorage and one hour before departure. The ports in question are Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan, Huanghua, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong.

The eleven key ports in the applicable ECAs have started to implement the latest low sulfur content control measure and local MSAs will strengthen inspections of ships berthing in port waters, the American Club said.

“Given these recently reported developments, it seems clear that the MSAs will continue to enforce the PRC ECA regulations and requirements vigorously,” the American Club pointed out.

Following the abovementioned case, there have been at least two other foreign flagged vessels that have been penalized by MSAs for allegedly using non-compliant fuel.

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