Philippine-flagged ships plying overseas routes are already compliant with ‘IMO 2020,’ per Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) data. The IMO Global Sulfur Cap 2020, which entered into force on 01 January 2020, sets the limit of the sulfur content of ships’ fuel from 3.5% to 0.5%.

Latest information collected by the MARINA, as of January 2020, shows that all 70 overseas-going ships classed by Bureau Veritas use compliant fuels. Meanwhile, classification societies Nippon Kaiji Kyokai and Lloyd’s Register are already finalizing their figures. The Philippines has 119 overseas ships under its registry.

On the other hand, the MARINA emphasizes that the implementation of IMO 2020 for domestic ships is gradual.

In the roadmap developed by the MARINA in conjunction with the Department of Energy (DOE), shipping companies, oil suppliers, and other concerned entities in the public and private sectors, one-hundred percent of Philippine domestic ships shall be fully compliant with IMO 2020 by 2025.

This phase-in scheme aims to ease the cost impact of IMO 2020 to domestic shipping companies. Likewise, oil suppliers are also given time to acquire their supplies of compliant fuels.

The MARINA is determined to integrate environmental protection into the practices in the industry to lessen the impact of sulfur emissions to the environment as well as to human health. Reduced sulfur emissions will improve air quality, especially in coastal communities and thus consequently reduce health hazards to populations living in those areas.