A full ban on open-loop scrubbers in China’s DECA


On 22 July 2019 China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) issued the “Implementation Scheme of the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap”. 

On 22 July 2019 China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) issued the “Implementation Scheme of the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap”.

The main elements of this 2020 Implementation Scheme include:

  • The banned areas for discharging washwater from open-loop scrubbers will be expanded to the whole Chinese Domestic Emission Control Area (DECA) from 1 January 2020. This area will replace the current area only covering the inland ECAs, ports covered by the coastal DECA and the Bohai Bay waters.
  • All international operating cargo ships which carries or consumes non-compliant fuel oil onboard due to the non-availability of compliant LSFO at the last port of call before entering China, shall issue a FONAR (Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report) to the port authority in the next Chinese port it calls before it enters Chinese waters.
  • China MSA will regularly report to IMO about received FONARs as well as non-compliant fuel oil bunkered data from Chinese ships. 
  • In case an international operating cargo ship is found having carried non-compliant fuel oil onboard within the Chinese DECA, actions will be taken according to MEPC.1/Circ.882, which includes discharge of all non-compliant fuel oil and reporting to local MSA. Alternatively, the ship needs to seek consent from the China MSA to seal non-compliant fuel oil on board plus produce a letter of undertaking promising not to consume the non-compliant fuel oil within the China DECA.
  • All suppliers delivering compliant fuel shall be registered with China MSA with their capacity and contact details before 30 November 2019. China MSA will report the information to IMO. 
  • When China MSA sample fuel oil from ships, the sulphur limit verification procedure of MARPOL Annex VI MEPC.1/Circ.881 will be strictly complied with. 
  • China MSA will establish a nationwide bunker reporting information system before 1 January 2020. 

BIMCO is following the develop in China closely.


Wei Zhuang
in Shanghai, CN


Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.

Read more

VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

Latest piracy reports


Latest industry releasable threats



Contracts & Clauses

All of BIMCO's most widely used contracts and clauses as well as advice on managing charters and business partners.

Learn about your cargo

For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.

More about cargo

BIMCO Publications

Want to buy or download a BIMCO publication? Use the link to get access to the ballast water management guide, the ship master’s security manual and many other publications.

About a new business partner

We can help members check new business partners. We also help to recover millions of USD (undisputed) funds every year.