Health and safety

Chinese shipowners seek sulphur cap suspension over coronavirus

12 March 2020

The China Shipowners' Association (CSA) has urgently called for suspension of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) global sulphur cap in local waters, as its shipping and logistics supply chain struggles to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The CSA is seeking a series of support measures to help the shipping industry get through the current challenges brought about by the virus and a co-ordination mechanism with the IMO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss the possibility of temporarily suspending the new sulphur emission regulations within Chinese waters, or at least award fuel oil non-availability reports (FONAR) for Chinese ships.

CSA suggested the government apply with IMO to extend the period of service for onboard Chinese crews during the period of epidemic prevention and control, and co-ordinate with the Oil Companies International Marine Forum to offer a three-month extension for ships unable to conduct SIRE inspections due to epidemic control.

CSA has urged the authorities to release a guidance document as soon as possible and requested favourable policies including subsidies, tax reductions and exemptions.