Applicability: shipowners, ship operators, ship managers and shipbuilders

Further to Class News 02/2019, new IMO guidelines have been published for the consistent implementation of its 0.50% global fuel sulphur limit reduction, which enters into force on 1 January 2020.

The guidelines (IMO Res. MEPC.320(74)), which can be found here, were agreed at the 74th session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74), held on 13-17 May.

Relevant sections of the guidelines are intended to be used by Flag States and Port States, shipowners and operators, shipbuilders and fuel oil suppliers. They cover:

  • implementation plans,
  • impact on fuel and machinery systems,
  • verification issues and control mechanism and actions,
  • fuel oil non-availability (including a standard format for a FONAR report), and
  • possible safety implications relating to fuels meeting the 0.50% limit.

Lloyd's Register encourages shipowners and operators to review these guidelines in preparation for the 1 January 2020 compliance deadline. A FONAR template is available here.

MEPC 74 also agreed other guidelines, which are related to the sulphur limit reduction, as follows:

  • Resolution MEPC.321 (74) "2019 Guidelines for Port State Control under MARPOL Annex VI Chapter 3".
  • MEPC.1/circular 881 "Guidance for port state control on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel oil".
  • MEPC.1/circular 882 "Early application of the verification procedures for a MARPOL Annex VI fuel oil sample".
  • MEPC.1/circular 883 "Guidance on Indication of Ongoing Compliance in the Case of the Failure of a Single Monitoring Instrument, and Recommended Actions to take if the EGCS Fails".
  • MEPC.1/circular 884 "Guidance for best practice for member states/coastal states".
  • MEPC.1/circular 864/Rev.1 "2019 Guidelines for on board sampling for the verification of the sulphur content of fuel oil".

For further information on any of these, please refer to LR's report of MEPC 74 available here.

For further information:

Contact your local Lloyd’s Register office or

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