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Compliance with the IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 in South Africa

28 February 2020
– 2 Minute Read


The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) issued Marine Notice No 22 of 2019 on 24 December 2019 (available here)  in which they advised that:

  1. Vessels at their first call on any South African port are required to provide information about the vessel’s compliance with MARPOL Annex VI (the IMO Sulphur Cap 2020) in a revised MRCC Pre-Arrival Notification (PAN) Report form (available here).

    2. Low sulphur fuel oil is available in the ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town as well as at offshore bunkering in Algoa Bay (off Port Elizabeth and Ngqura).

  2. SAMSA accepts approved, fully operational exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubber units) that are operated in accordance with IMO requirements and guidelines (resolution MEPC.259(68)).
  3. Notification must be sent to SAMSA by email in the event of any breakdown or malfunction of the exhaust gas cleaning system.
  4. Port State Control Officers will require to sight all relevant documents on type of fuel oil on board, documents pertaining to the scrubbers, evidence that the ship’s personnel involved in the operation of the scrubbers are adequately trained and familiar with its operation.
  5. Non-compliant vessels will be required to rectify the situation prior to departure from port.
  6. This latest Marine Notice should be read in conjunction with Marine Notices No 8 (available here) and No 9 (available here)  of 2019 about the effective implementation of the IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 and Fuel Oil Non-Availability Reports (FONAR) respectively.

Draft legislation has been proposed, providing for MARPOL to have the force of law in South Africa and imposing fines of up to ZAR 3.2 million (approximately
USD 220 000 at current exchange rates) and/ or five years imprisonment for non-compliance. However, this draft legislation has not yet been enacted.