BIMCO has published two IMO 2020 clauses for inclusion in charter parties relating to the content of bunkers after 1 January 2020, covering the transition from 3.5% sulphur content heavy fuel oil (HFO) to 0.5% low-sulphur fuel (LSFO).

The world’s largest shipping association, which counts over 65% of global tonnage within its membership, said it was also setting up a working group to examine if an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber) clause would be required.

Scrubber technology, which acts as a mini onboard refinery by washing sulphur from the fuel, will allow ships to continue to consume cheaper HFO after 1 January 2020.

Although it is expected that only around 5% of ships will have scrubbers installed by the start of IMO 2020 regulations, that proportion could increase substantially if the investment affords shipping lines a long-term advantage over competitors opting for LSFO.

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