The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is disappointed with the IMO. A small majority of countries has voted against a proposal in the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to initiate an investigation into the availability of low sulfur fuel, due completed by 2018.
The ICS has been pushing to begin work on a comprehensive study of the availability of fuel ahead of the implementation of MARPOL Annex VI which, beginning in 2020, will require a significant sulfur reduction in ship fuel, down to 0.5 percent. The ICS fears that there will not be sufficient fuel for ships to sail with low sulfur fuel, thus preventing the ships from complying with the new requirements. This could lead to extremely high prices on available oil, resulting in a shift of cargo from water to land, with severe consequences for the traffic and the environment, says the ICS.