No HFO in the Artic from July 2024: Distinctive regions

No HFO in the Artic from July 2024: Distinctive regions

Beginning from July 1, 2024, it will be prohibited to use or carry heavy fuel oil (HFO) as domestic fuel in bunker tanks while in Arctic waters. Except for some specific cases, as recently emphasized by DNV in a regulatory update. Therefore, DNV recommends that “for ships traveling through Arctic waters. Make sure to dispose of all remaining HFO before entering, unless you have been granted an exemption.

However, there are some regions where the above No HFO in the Artic prohibition does not apply:

  • The exemption does not apply to vessels that ensure the safety of ships, conduct search and rescue operations. Or have a specific designation for oil spill preparedness and response.
  • Ships that are subject to MARPOL Annex I Regulation 12A or Part II-A of the Polar Code’s Regulation 1.2.1 may carry and use HFO until July 1, 2029.
  • The vessel’s flag state may temporarily exempt it when it works in domestic waters under its sovereignty or jurisdiction until July 1, 2029.

The term HFO refers to fuel oil that has a density higher than 900 kg/m3 at 15°C. Or a kinematic viscosity higher than 180 mm2/s at 50°C. There have been discussions about whether to add the pour point as an additional qualifier in the future. But no conclusion has been reached yet regarding no HFO in the Arctic.

If you use HFO to prepare for operation within Arctic waters. You do not need to clean or flush your bunker tanks or pipelines. The transportation of HFO as cargo on tankers is not affected by this regulation.

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