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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will take ‘stern action’ against vessels found to emit excessive dark smoke that negatively affects air quality.

On 22 May 2018 the MPA issued a circular reminding ship masters and owners to “take all necessary measures to prevent their vessels from emitting excessive soot, ash, or dark smoke from engine exhaust and/or ancillary shipboard machineries throughout the duration of vessel stay in port”. 

Dark smoke containing particles and deposits formed by unburned fuel can adversely affect air quality and impact human health and the MPA says it will take ‘stern action’ against vessels found to emit excessive dark smoke that does so. The circular draws attention to Singapore port regulation 66: “No person may cause smoke, soot, ash or grit to be emitted from a vessel in such quantity or density as may, in the opinion of the Authority, be a nuisance” and states that offenders can be prosecuted in court and fined up to SGD 5,000 if convicted.

Members and clients with vessels trading to Singapore should ensure that Masters and crew are familiar with the emission control requirements in its port waters. Air pollution caused by the emission of dark smoke from vessels is a serious concern, according to the MPA. However, it also emphasises that such emission can be minimised and prevented through the exercise of due care and diligence and offers the following recommendations:

  • Perform regular and proper maintenance of components such as fuel oil heaters, fuel injectors, scavenge air coolers and turbochargers.
  • Ensure that generators are running at optimal load at all times.
  • Control the air-fuel mixture ratio to maintain optimum combustion in the furnaces of boilers and inert gas generators.
  • Make sure that crews are vigilant and conduct frequent checks of funnel emissions.


All circular and notices issued by the MPA are available HERE