Taiwan to implement 0.5% sulphur limit from Jan 2019

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

01 February 2018


Taiwan is trying to stay ahead of the curve in controlling air pollution from ships, with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) announcing last Thursday a low-sulphur fuel oil rule for ships entering its international ports that will go into effect on January 1, 2019. According to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, the global limit for suphfur content in fuel oil used in ships will be set at 0.5 percent mass by mass (m/m) from Jan. 1, 2020. The current global limit is 3.5 percent m/m.Taiwan will therefore be ahead of the times, requiring foreign ships entering its international ports and domestic ships sailing on international routes to use fuel oil that contains 0.5 percent m/m or less of sulphur starting next year, said Yeh Hsieh-lung, deputy director-general of the MOTC's Department of Navigation and Aviation. In an attempt to encourage ships to switch to low-sulphur fuel even earlier, the MOTC will provide between Feb. 1 to the end of the year a subsidy of NT$5,000 (US$172) to all vessels, local and foreign, regardless of size, entering Taiwanese ports, if they make the change before the Jan. 1, 2019 implementation date, according to Yeh.