China Now Enforcing Emissions Regs at 11 Ports
China began enforcing the use of fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5 percent on ships berthing at six more key ports starting the first of this year, extending the policy from five ports that implemented the regulation in 2016.
Beginning January 1, 2017, ships berthing at the ports of Guangzhou, Huanghua, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan, Tianjin and Zhuhai must burn bunker fuel with a sulphur content cap of 0.5 percent.
The fuel sulphur rule was imposed at the ports of Shanghai, Nantong, Ningbo-Zhoushan, and Suzhou in April of last year before extended to Shenzhen in October.
With six more ports added to China’s Emission Control Area (ECA), this brings the number of key ports where the emissions policy is beign enforced to 11.
The London P&I Club advised that shipowners need to understand the details of the berthing period during which low sulphur fuel needs to be used, as they differ from one port to the next.
In Shanghai, for example, the berthing period runs from when the ship is firmly fastened to a bollard until all cables are untied, whereas in Suzhou and Nantong, the relevant period is within one hour after arrival and one hour before departure.
Ships berthing in Shanghai port can also apply for exemption if the low sulphur fuel oil is unsafe to be used.
The P&I club further advised that China’s next stages in its ECA regulation from 2018 may require low sulphur fuel to be used throughout the entire berthing period.
“Members should review their bunkering and fuel changeover arrangements to ensure compliance with these regulations,” the London P&I Club said, in a statement. “In particular, members should ensure that documentary records are in order (as local authorities may inspect them) and fuel samples are kept (as appropriate) to avoid delays and penalties being imposed.”