Good news for shipping, bad news for IMO

Britain has suspended checks on ships for compliance with low sulphur fuel regulations as part of wider measures that cut back on inspections to reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on supply chains, the coastguard authority said on Mar 27.
Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it has enacted measures to keep freight moving.
“In terms of enforcing IMO 2020 and ultimately MARPOL Annex VI requirements, as we have suspended port state control inspections, this also means that the checking of compliant fuel has been suspended,” an MCA spokeswoman said, referring to the regulations, which were enacted by United Nations shipping agency the IMO.
The MCA said it had suspended ship survey and inspection activity, and relaxed rules such as extensions on ship certificates – all needed to enter ports.
“While we can’t compromise on safety, there are a number of temporary measures we have and are taking to ensure shipping doesn’t come to a standstill and seafarers can keep working,” Katy Ware, MCA director of maritime safety and standards, said in a statement this week.

Excellent news, and little doubt more countries will follow the UK breakthrough and start banning IMO 2020 Cap and other regulations, in order not to jeopardize supply chains in times of spreading virus madness.
There’s little doubt, too, that the IMO and the rest of the mob will soon declare suspension of notorious Fuel Cap, saying in respective statement something like “It is with heavy heart that we have to suspend Fuel Cap, however important it is for sustaining sustainable sustainability in a most environmentally friendly manner, but being as socially responsible as we are, we must do our utmost to …” bla-bla-bla, bla-bla-bla, bla-bla-bla.
UAE recently has banned container ship MSC JOANNA carrying more than 700 MT of high sulphur fuel oil (carrying but not burning it), from operating in its waters and ports for one year over violation of the recently implemented fuel carriage ban. What’s here to say? We’re all suffering, we all found ourselves deep-diving into global crisis, not because of UN/IMO… only, but because of so many, way too many, useful idiots around.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.