Singapore Seeks Prison for Captains and Owners Breaking 2020 Low Sulphur Fuel Rules


Singapore Seeks Prison for Captains and Owners Breaking 2020 Low Sulphur Fuel RulesApril 3, 2019 by Bloomberg1810

Photo: joyfull / Shutterstock

By Saket Sundria and Ann Koh (Bloomberg) — Singapore has a message for shipping companies considering cheating on rules starting next year to combat pollution to save a few dollars on their fuel bills: don’t.

Captains and owners of vessels that burn overly sulfurous fuel in the Asian country’s territorial waters could face as long as two years in prison from the start of 2020, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. If enforced, such a penalty would probably be among the strongest deterrents yet to dodging regulations that are supposed to cut emissions of a pollutant blamed for asthma and acid rain.

From next year, the ships must emit 85 percent less sulfur in most parts of the world than they do in most places today. The world’s second-biggest port said that ships that fail to use an approved abatement technology such as a scrubber, alternative fuel or compliant fuel will also be considered non-compliant.

The MPA didn’t clarify precisely what rule infringement would incur a prison sentence. Other penalties include a fine of up to S$10,000 ($7,400).

Based on precedent in the the U.S., the harshest penalties would likely be imposed if there were exacerbating factors like falsification of documents or obstructing justice, according to Magdalene Chew, a director at AsiaLegal LLC and Wole Olufunwa, a senior associate at Holman Fenwick Willan in Singapore.

“Presumably, this may be used as a yard stick comparison for what penalties imposed for breach of the sulfur cap may look like,” Chew and Olufunwa, who specialize in shipping at the law firms, said in a joint email.

The most severe penalty Singapore ever imposed for breaches of maritime air pollution regulations was more than two decades ago, said Chew and Olufunwa. Then, a vessel’s owners, master and agents, who all pleaded guilty, were fined S$400,000 each for “flagrant disregard of any concern for the marine environment.” The ship’s master also received a three-month prison term for an oil spill charge, according to the law firms.

Such penalties matter far beyond the confines of individual port states because there’s an expectation that many owners — particularly in Asia — could start by ignoring the sulfur-emission rules. The extent to which that happens will have an impact on the maritime industry’s fuel-buying patterns. However, with thousands of ships each year stopping at the island state to refuel while en route to other parts of Asia, the country’s deterrent could make many owners — and ship captains — more wary of cheating.

The penalties could mean tougher times for shipping firms as they prepare for the rules. To comply, companies can either purchase more expensive, cleaner fuel with less than 0.5 percent sulfur content, or they can install pollution-reducing scrubbers that let them keep using oil with a higher sulfur content. To make matters worse, analysts question whether sufficient low-sulfur fuel will be available in time.

“MPA is also working closely with the industry to ease the transition to the requirements under the IMO 2020 regulations,” a spokesperson said, adding that the authority has issued technical guides, along with the Singapore Shipping Association, on options available for ship operators to comply.

The authority will inspect both Singapore-registered ships as well as foreign-flagged vessels visiting the port, and employ fuel-testing service providers for detailed laboratory analysis of fuel samples. It will also deploy electronic systems for ships to declare their method of compliance before arrival.

Along with other nations, Singapore already banned open-loop scrubbers from discharging washwater, the waste liquid containing impurities after airborne sulfur emissions have been removed.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

Leave a Reply

SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , CISM   NS0-157   350-018  , NS0-157   ICBB  , N10-006 test  , 350-050   70-534   70-178   220-802   102-400   000-106   70-411  , 400-101   100-101  , NS0-157   1Z0-803   200-125  , 210-060   400-201   350-050   C_TFIN52_66  , JN0-102  , 200-355   JN0-360   70-411   350-018  , 70-412   350-030   640-916   000-105   100-105  , 70-270  , 70-462   300-070  , 300-070   642-999   101-400   PR000041   200-101  , 350-030   300-070  , 70-270  , 400-051   200-120   70-178   9L0-012   70-487   LX0-103   100-105  ,