Intercargo says regulation needs to get wiser
The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo) has re-iterated its commitment to a safe efficient and environmentally-friendly dry cargo shipping industry plus its support for an industry governed by free and fair competition.
To this end, Intercargo said it will participate in the development of the GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO in April in collaboration with its industry partners aiming at setting ambitious yet also pragmatic objectives.
“It is said that the bulk ship is the workhorse of international trade. We should make sure we do not slay the horse though. Regulation is welcome but should also be measured and wise,” said Dr Kostas Gkonis, secretary general, Intercargo.
“We see regulations being adopted whose implementation cannot be effective. Two examples are BWM, with experience building this year and the bunkers’ Sulphur Cap, where important decisions are also to be taken this year. In both cases we have set a deadline without having yet the technologies in the first case or the fuel in the second case to meet the regulatory requirements.”
Among the topics on the agenda at Intercargo’s Technical and Executive Committees’ recent meetings were air emissions (including the Global Sulphur Cap from 2020 and greenhouse gases), operational challenges after the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention, the non-availability and adequacy of reception facilities for cargo residues and cargo hold washing waters Hazardous to the Marine Environment (HME).
On the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap for ships’ bunkers from 2020, Intercargo is promoting the consideration of transitional issues such as the availability and safety aspects of compliant fuels and incidents of non-availability of low sulphur bunkers at certain ports.
It is encouraging also the effective implementation of the “2020 Sulphur Cap” regulation, but taking a pragmatic approach, saying it would welcome a “reasonable and measured enforcement of the Regulation during an initial transitional period”.
The organisation is concerned about both the technical and operational challenges faced by shipowners in achieving compliance from 1 Jan 2020, given the bunkers’ supply landscape and widespread uncertainty.
Intercargo said that the availability of compliant fuels and their safe consumption are especially of concern. It warns that a drastic step-change is expected in 2020 and if a smooth transition is not ensured, there will be an impact on trade, economic growth and on the societies of both developed and developing countries worldwide.
It will hold its next meetings in London in October 2018.
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