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Web Alert: Changes to US ECA FONAR reporting procedure

03 July 2019

Members with ships operating in the North American (NA) or U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Area (ECA) are advised that a change of procedure has been introduced in the two ECAs because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is no longer involved in dealing with cases where compliant fuel oil is not available.

According to the USCG Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB 005-19) attached on the right, from 30 June 2019 ships that are unable to acquire sufficient MARPOL Annex VI compliant fuel oil at a foreign or U.S. port may satisfy the requirement to notify the competent authority of the relevant port of destination by notifying the cognizant United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain of the Port (COTP).

It is expected that the USCG will investigate all reports of non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI to determine what actions may be warranted. Such actions may range from completing the investigation with no follow-on action, detaining the vessel, and/or pursuing civil penalties. The USCG may also refer the matter to EPA. Failure to make the notifications required by MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 18.2.4 may result in a vessel control (e.g., detention) and/or enforcement action.

Ships trading within the NA or U.S. Caribbean Sea ECAs are reminded that 0.10% sulphur limit is applicable within the emission control areas. For further details on the specific format of FONAR to be used, Club’s members are recommended to refer to the Club’s web-alert on ‘guidance on contingency measures for addressing non-compliant fuel oil’.