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From 1 January 2017 ships calling at all eleven key ports in China must use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50 per cent whilst berthed.

We refer to our previous Gard Alert on the Chinese regulation which designates the Pearl River and Yangtze River Deltas, and Bohai-rim Waters as domestic emission control areas (ECAs) and places a cap on the sulphur content of fuel oil in these ECAs at 0.50 per cent.

As the mandatory implementation date for the stricter air emission limit in all key Chinese ports is approaching, Members and clients are reminded that:

  • the following eleven ports within the Chinese ECAs are designated “key ports”:
    • Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai in the Pearl River Delta
    • Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Suzhou and Nantong in the Yangtze River Delta
      • Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua in the Bohai-rim Waters;
      • from 1 January 2017 ships calling at these eleven key ports must use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.50 per cent whilst berthed; and
      • the above mentioned regulation applies to all ships navigating, anchoring and operating within the Chinese ECAs with the exception of military ships, fishing boats and ships/boats used for sporting purposes.

To avoid any delay or penalty being incurred by the ship, bunkering strategies and fuel change-over procedures should be revisited to ensure compliance with the Chinese requirements. Ships calling at Chinese ports must be instructed accordingly.

For additional information about the Chinese regulation and its enforcement by the China Maritime Safety Administration, reference is made to our Gard Alert ”Chinese ECAs - sulphur requirements for marine fuels” updated 2 September 2016.