The IMO low sulphur regulations entered into force on 1st. January 2020.

Under MARPOL Annex VI and other relevant provisions, the following sulphur caps are applicable to marine fuels:

  • 0,10% wt% for marine fuels used by vessels berthed our anchored in any Spanish port, with the exception of Canarian ports, which is 0,50%.
  • 0,50 wt% for marine fuels used by vessels in navigation out of the emission control areas.

Above sulphur limits would not apply to vessels with ship emission reduction equipment approved under Rule 4 of Marpol Annex VI.

It is expected that during 2020 a number of more than 300 samples will be taken by Spanish MOU-PSC inspectors (30% of the 10% of the vessels calling Spanish Ports).

Pollutants could be currently punished with a fine up to 120,000 €, though this is being reviewed. The vessel will be detained in case of failure to comply with the sulphuric cap until sufficient guarantee has been provided to answer for the sanction.

Scrubbers are admitted to the extent these are approved by the flag, are operative and work.

Vessels which are unable to purchase compliant fuel oil are entitled to make use of reported fuel oil non-availability reports (FONAR), which must be kept on board for inspection.