China consults on scrubber wastewater ban

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

26 July 2019


A draft regulation from China’s Maritime Safety Administration suggests that the country will extend a ban on discharging the wastewater from open-loop scrubbers to more coastal regions starting in 2020.

In January this year, a restriction on open-loop scrubbers in some areas was announced although it fell short of a reported ban in all Chinese waters. The MSA’s new draft plan dated July 22 suggests that it plans to extend the ban to all coastal regions within 12 nautical miles from the baseline of China’s territorial sea and regions near the southern island province of Hainan.

The regulation will come into effect on 1 January 2020 and also includes provisions to ban vessels carrying fuel oil with a sulphur content of more than 0.5% from entering Chinese water from 1 March 2020 in line with the new IMO rules.

“The restriction is in line with China’s war against pollution and is part of obligations of the international convention China concluded,” the MSA said.

The draft will be open for public comment until 22 August.

If enforced, the ban will mean that ships with hybrid scrubbers would need to switch to close-loop mode or else use compliant fuel. Ships with open-loop scrubbers would only have the option to switch to compliant fuel.