The IMO is working with its Member States and the shipping industry “to identify and mitigate transitional issues” surrounding introduction of the global sulphur cap in January 2020, delegates were told at the 5th biennial gmec (global maritime environment congress) taking place at the SMM trade show in Hamburg last week.

Delivering the keynote address to an audience of around 100 delegates, the deputy director of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Division, Tianbing Huang, spoke of the environmental challenges facing the industry. These included the need to fit ballast water treatment systems, implementation of the new 0.5% sulphur limit, and the IMO’s pledge to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions by at least 50% (from 2008 levels) by 2050 – all subjects discussed in the day-long gmec programme organised by SMM in co-operation with Seatrade.

Regarding sulphur, Huang disclosed that the IMO is now working with Member States and industry on drawing up a set of guidelines to “help ensure consistent implementation” of the new 2020 regulations which are due to be finalised at the 74th meeting of the international body’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) in May 2019.

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