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Stricter sulphur requirements for ECAs entering into force on 1st January 2015

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Technical: On 1st January 2015 the sulphur requirements in Emission Control Areas (ECA) will become stricter. Vessels operating in ECA’s will be required to comply with sulphur content of just 0.10 %.

The SOx requirements apply to all fuel oils, as defined in MARPOL Annex VI Reg.2.9 Currently there are four designated ECAs that include the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the North American ECA, which extends up to 200 nm from the coasts of the continental United States & Canada and the US Caribbean Sea. Compliance with the new ECA requirements can be obtained by either using ECA compliant fuel at all times, or by switching to low sulphur fuel on entering an ECA. When switching to ECA compliant fuel oil, it is required to have a “written procedure showing how the fuel oil change-over is to be done” according to MARPOL Annex VI Reg.14.6. The detailed change over procedure should be readily available and the ship’s crew should be familiar with it. Further, it is required that the change-over process is fully completed before entering the ECA. A logbook for registering the fuel oil change-over has to be kept on board, as prescribed by the Administration.....