On 1 January 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will implement a new regulation for a 0.50% global sulphur cap for marine fuels. Under the new global cap, ships will have to use marine fuels with a sulphur content of no more than 0.50% m/m against the current limit of 3.50%S in an effort to reduce the amount of sulphur oxide. Ships operating outside Emission Control Areas, the limit for sulphur content of ship’s fuel oil was 3.50% m/m (mass by mass). The 0.50% m/m limit will apply on and after 1 January 2020. Ships operating in the Emission Control Areas will remain at the 2015 standard of 0.10% m/m sulphur content.

IMO regulations to reduce sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions from ships first came into force in 2005, under Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (known as the MARPOL Convention). Since then, the limits on sulphur oxides have been progressively tightened.

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IMO Sulphur 2020