The Hebei Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) in China has recently released a case where the local regulator fined a ship that burned high sulphur content fuel.
This was the first reported case in China since their Emission Control Areas’ (ECAs) regulations entered into force.
On 4 January 2017, the Hebei MSA put in place special inspections against all ships that moored at the Caofeidian Port (in Hebei Province). On an initial inspection, the MSA officials discovered that a ship had failed to change fuel before calling. They then extracted a fuel sample from the ship and arranged testing. The results highlighted the ship’s fuel sulphur level was 2.85% m/m and therefore wasn’t in compliance with the Chinese ECA regulation. The ship was investigated further and fined.
BIMCO informed members about this ECA when China launched regional ECAs back in 2015. In accordance with “The Emission Control Area Implementation Act for the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rims (Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province)” issued by the China Ministry of Transportation on 4 December 2015, that as of 1 January 2017, all ships moored in docks within key ports (both one hour after mooring and one hour before leaving are excluded) should have a sulphur content of fuel oil not exceeding 0.5% m/m during the whole period.
BIMCO expects that Chinese MSAs will tighten up their inspections further including: inspecting the oil record book, bunker supply order, fuel quality documents, among others.