Last August the North America ECA low sulphur requirements came into force and as a result the sulfur content of the fuel oil used onboard ships operating in this area may not exceed 1.00% m/m (10,000 ppm). This new requirement comes to add further restrictions on the fuels’ sulphur levels and gives the PSCO the ability to examine either the vessel’s SMS or its equipment or relevant records on whether or not they are in line with ECA regulations.
Demand for low sulfur bunkers in the U.S. has risen to as much as 50% of the total U.S. market since the August 1, 2012 introduction of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA), according to a Platts Podcast. All ships operating within the ECA, effectively a 200 nautical mile zone off the U.S. and Canada coastlines, must use a marine fuel with a sulfur content not exceeding 1.00% by weight.
In a few days (1 August 2012) the control of the sulphur content in fuel oil for ships operating within the designated North American Emission Control Area will be implemented. IMO’s MEPC.1/Circ.723 provides the boundary of the Emission Control Area. After 1 August 2012, the limit value of the sulphur content of any fuel oil used onboard vessels within North America ECA will change from 3.50% m/m to 1.00% m/m.