Vessels could be deemed unseaworthy and their insurance cover affected by failing to comply with the sulfur emissions (SOx) regulations set to be introduced on 1st January, 2020, according to insurance broker and risk management provider, Marsh.
Marsh’s report, ‘Emissions Regulations: Concerns for the Marine Industry’, explores the risks and insurance implications associated with measures introduced by the IMO to reduce the sulfur footprint of commercial shipping.
The report states that shipowners should not assume that insurance cover will continue to remain in place following a breach of the MARPOL Annex VI after 1st January, 2020.
The failure to comply with international conventions, and consequently losing flag state convention certification, could affect the validity of a shipowner’s insurance cover if they continue to operate without prior insurer consent.
Marcus Baker, Marsh’s global marine practice chairman, commented: “As 1st January, 2020 approaches, Marsh envisages large numbers of vessels seeking to book space in repair yards for the installation of new equipment or conversion to LNG in an effort to comply with the MARPOL requirements.
“Latecomers may find that convenient or preferred yards have no room and, being unable to comply with the new sulfur cap rules by 2020, may risk their vessels becoming non-compliant, which could have ramifications for their insurance provision. Shipowners should act early to ensure any modifications that are required can be carried out in good time.”