IMO Sulphur 2020 regulation

The IMO Sulphur 2020 regulation enters into force on 1 January 2020. From that date, all ships will be required to use fuel oils with a maximum 0.50% sulphur content, except those in the existing ECAs where the limit remains at 0.10%.

To comply with the new regulation, shipowners or operators have two predominant options – to use compliant fuel or, with the approval of the ship’s flag Administration, to combine HSFOs with an EGCS. Alternatively, they can switch to zerosulphur fuels such as liquified natural gas (LNG) or methanol.

Our services to support you in compliance

The IMO Sulphur 2020 regulation requires careful planning and preparation to reduce the impact on ship operations, especially in the lead up to implementation.

Our sulphur 2020 compliance package of services provides a flexible solution for those who decide to switch to VLSFOs. With our expert help you can prepare for IMO Sulphur 2020 with confidence. 

Sulphur 2020 compliance package

Ship implementation plans

Make sure you have the right plan in place to manage the ship design and operational changes required. We’ll help you create and implement your strategy.


Ensure that your people, onboard and onshore, understand the regulation and how to handle new fuels safely. This can be provided face-to-face or via our eLearning platform.

Fuel quality testing

Fuel oil bunker analysis and advice to reduce the risk, cost of downtime and repairs associated with the use of poor-quality fuel.

Fuel oil chemical screening

We use level 1 screening (ChemScan) to reduce the risk of the common contaminants. Further screening options are available to identify a wider range of contaminants.

Fuel oil compatibility assessment

An expansion of our fuel testing service to incorporate fuel compatibility assessment. This can be achieved through relatively minor amendments to the fuel oil testing procedure onboard. For any incompatibility concerns further testing can be used to determine if you can mix fuels, how, and in what ratios.

Cold flow property analysis

New low-sulphur residual fuel blends can produce wax related sludge during separation if fuel temperatures are set by only considering viscosity of the fuels.

We offer analysis to determine the temperature at which fuel ceases to flow (pour point), the temperature at which wax in distillate crystalises to give a cloudy appearance (cloud point) and the lowest temperature that distillates will still pass through a fine filter onboard (cold filter plugging point).

Engineering investigation and advice

Our combination of experienced chemists and marine fuel consultants can help you to understand how best to proceed in the management of poor quality or contaminated fuel, or damaged fuel systems.

Fuel system audit

Going beyond the testing of fuel quality during bunkering, a fuel system audit tests the effectiveness of the vessel’s treatment system. Carried out at regular intervals, fuel system audits reduce the risk of component damage and quality disputes.