The International Maritime Organization, IMO says it will enforce a new 0.5% global Sulphur Cap on fuel content from 1st January, 2020.
According to the IMO, Sulphur in gasoline impairs the effectiveness of emission control systems and contributes to air pollution hence the enforcement of the new 0.5% global Sulphur Cap on fuel content will help reduces air pollution.
It says that over the years, environmental concerns on harmful emissions from ships caused by the presence of Sulphur in fuel have heightened.
In a sensitization stakeholder seminar for stakeholders within the maritime industry organized by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) on new regulations to reduce sulphur emissions from ships to protect the environment, the chief executive officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck indicated that the GMA will focus on providing guidelines for the compliance and monitoring while the GSA will be looking at the impact of compliance by shipping lines on their charges after the enforcement.
She described the move as a global initiative to curb the harmful effects of ship emissions and to overcome the harmful impact of climate change on the environment and human health.
She further mentioned that, with fuel costs already representing more than 50 percent of total operating expenses, the IMO 2020 will pose an increase too significant for carriers and cargo owners to absorb and stay operational.
“The authority is committed to making the business of shippers easy, flexible and responsive to changing needs of the industry,” she added.
The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Kofi Alonsi noted that sulphur oxides are harmful to human health, causing respiratory symptoms and lung diseases stating that in the atmosphere, sulphur oxide can lead to acidic rain which is harmful to crops, forests and aquatic species.
“I hope that our partners in the Maritime industry will be convinced of the urgency and necessity to comply accordingly with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap requirements to address this global environmental concern,” he stated.
Head of Freight and logistics at the GSA, Mr Fred Asiedu hinted that complying with a global regulation as this was a transition hence the need to create awareness to shippers about the new regulation in order for them to factor it in their last quarter budget.