The use of non-compliant fuel in European Union sulphur emissions control areas (SECAs) has been “rather limited”, according to data communicated to IHS Maritime by the European Commission.
Following the introduction of a 0.1% limit on the sulphur content of marine fuel in the SECAs on 1 January, a total of 231 cases of non-compliance have been reported out of a total of 4,000 inspections recorded under Thetis-S voluntary reporting system used by EU member states.
The commission told IHS Maritime that the majority of non-compliance cases involved incorrect or missing data in ship logbooks and other documents.
“The actual use of non-compliant fuel seems to be rather limited: only 37 reported cases so far,” an environment spokeswoman said.
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According to the Thetis-S data, 67 inspections resulted in penalties being applied, while 622 fuel samples were taken for analysis.
The commission warned, however, that the Thetis-S results may not be complete since member states are not obliged to report to Thetis-S in real time. The picture would be clearer, it said, once complete data for the whole of 2015 had been collected.
“Nonetheless, member states are overall very positive about the functionalities of Thetis-S and the real-time picture it provides, as well as the possibility to trace the compliance of a ship through different EU member states,” the spokeswoman said.
She added that the commission would be focusing more on fuel quality in the future with the aim of ensuring that bunker suppliers and not just shipping companies were covered by sulphur regulation enforcement procedures.