Seafarers fear criminalization once sulfur requirements enter force

Seafarers fear that they will become scapegoats if the ships they operate do not comply with the sulfur requirements coming into force on Jan. 1, 2020. Part of the fear is rooted in a one-year-old case on the matter.

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The IMO's new global sulfur requirements, taking effect from next year, risk criminalizing seafarers, making them scapegoats in the event of violations of the new regulations, warns maritime labor union Nautilus International.

"The Union has been told by members that many seafarers are increasingly alarmed by the prospect of being scapegoated for problems through no fault of their own, linked to the 0.5 percent cap on the Sulphur content of fuel," writes Nautilus International in a press release.

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