European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has issued a Sulphur Inspection Guidance. This document is intended to provide guidance for a harmonised approach to the inspection of ships, ascertaining their compliance, identifying non-compliances and applying control procedures for the enforcement of Council Directive 1999/32/EC, as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels.
The Sulphur Inspection Guidance contains guidelines for sulphur inspectors regarding the enforcement of Directive 1999/32/EC as amended regarding the sulphur content of liquid fuels (the “Sulphur Directive”). The Sulphur Committee held on the 6th of May 2015 adopted the Guidelines as the reference document for a harmonized enforcement of the EU Sulphur Directive.
The provisions of the Directive apply to all ships of all flags, including domestic shipping and those whose journey began outside the EU. It sets sulphur content limits in the marine fuels that can be used by ships in territorial seas, exclusive economic zones and pollution control zones of the EU Member States, including SOx Emission Control Areas (SECA).
The limitations on the sulphur content of certain fuels shall in principle not apply to e.g. fuels used by warships and other vessels under military service, and to fuels used on board vessels employing emission abatement methods in accordance with the Directive. Under some exceptional circumstances, the limitations on the sulphur content of fuels used by ships shall also not apply.
Any sulphur inspection can only focus on the operation and behaviour of a ship while in areas and ports of the geographical jurisdiction of the Member State. However, additional enforcement actions may be required in accordance with international maritime law.
The full guidance can be downloaded by clicking the below image.