The Ghana Maritime Authority in collaboration with the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, in line with their campaign to bring awareness on the 2020 IMO Sulphur Cap policy to all stakeholders within the shipping value chain, have met with the technical players in the port and maritime industry who would play significant roles in the implementation of the global policy in a seminar.
The seminar sought to sensitize stakeholders in the maritime industry about the guidelines on the implementation of the 2020 Sulphur cap to improve energy efficiency and promote clearer marine environment.
Stakeholders present included the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, the National Petroleum Authority, Shipping Lines, oil distributers and refineries.
The International Maritime Organization, requires all fuel emitting machines, including cargo vessels, from January 2020, to strictly comply with the 0.50 Sulphur limit in their use of fuel, as a global environmental conservation measure.
The Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Thomas Kofi Alonsi, said his outfit will continue to enforce the compliance to such conventions through flag state and port state control measures.
He charged other players in the shipping sectors, to gear themselves up and with urgency, play their parts in the implementation of the IMO Sulphur cap policy.
“Our partners in the maritime industry, bunker suppliers, ship owners and operators should be convinced of the urgency and necessity to comply accordingly with the IMO 2020 Sulphur cap requirement to address this global, environmental concern,” he charged.
The GMA boss who described the global Sulphur cap policy as very achievable, revealed that fuel oil manufacturers have already started to make adequate provisions to ships to ensure compliance to the legally-binding IMO policy.
Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, said although the cost of implementation would be borne by shippers, globally, the level of awareness and understanding of the policy is unacceptably low, and her outfit is committed to bring the needed information on the policy to exporters and importers.
“The clock is ticking on the IMO 2020 Sulphur regulation deadline and yet much work remains to be done. It is in respect that these seminar series have been organized to help bring sufficient clarity to all stakeholders,” she said.
Capt. Inusah Abdul Nasir, said a technical as well as a regulatory sub-committee has been set up, which to make sure Ghana is prepared to ensure the IMO regulation is adhered to by all vessels that ply its territory.
He also called for the National Petroleum Authority to be prepared to collaborate with the GMA to ensure quality standards.
“Quality as I said, falls within the remit of the NPA. The Ghana Maritime Authority will not know the quality or maybe the constituents of fuel during assessment. So we are working together to get these gadgets so that we will carry them along to do our inspections,” he revealed.
Fred Aseidu Dartey, Head of Freight and Logistics, Ghana Shippers’ Authority, assured that his outfit would ensure shippers are not unduly burdened by shipping lines due to the cost of the Sulphur cap compliance.
“The assurance we have given shippers is that to the best of our ability, the Ghana Shippers Authority will ensure that fair rates are applied on our routes.”