China yet to place a full ban on open-loop scrubbers

Jan 11 2019

China has not yet placed a full ban on open-loop scrubbers as recently reported, according to a note from BIMCO.

Chinese regulators have updated part of the domestic emission control area (DECA) regulations with effect from 1st January 2019.

Local sources have advised BIMCO that according to the updated regulation, the banned areas for discharging wastewater from scrubbers remain within inland ECAs, port waters under coastal DECA and the Bohai Bay waters only.

However, it was thought that a full ban on open-loop scrubbers could be adopted soon.

Last November, regulators said ships equipped with scrubbers were permitted to carry and use high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO), subject to emissions monitoring, and that scrubber waste and water must be disposed according to relevant regulation. This still remains the case.

The updated DECA regulation is designed to supplement the previous regulation, as well as to provide more detailed guidelines for implementation.

BIMCO advised members to heed the following:

*Ships that need to switch to low sulfur fuel must make a fuel switch plan and keep it on board. The switch timing, ships position, fuel sulfur content - before and after switching – as well as fuel tank data and consumption details must be properly recorded on the ship’s engine log. This as in line with IMO requirements for entering and leaving ECAs in accordance with MARPOL Annex VI, BIMCO said.

*The discharge and disposal of water pollutants generated by ships using exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) must meet the requirements of relevant regulations. It is prohibited to discharge wastewater generated by open-loop scrubbers within the inland ECAs, port water areas of coastal emission control areas and Bohai Bay water areas.

*A yet to be decided ban on wastewater generated by open-loop scrubbers within the whole of China’s domestic emission control area will be announced in due course.

*It is prohibited to discharge exhaust gas washwater residues into any current DECA water or burn them on board.


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