As from today, heavy fuel oil is banned from the Antarctic under an amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s Marpol Convention.
Under the new Marpol regulation, the carriage as cargo or use as fuel of heavy fuel oil is prohibited in the Antarctic as are crude oils with a density higher than 900 kg per cu m at 15°C.
This means ships trading in the Antarctic, defined as the sea area south of latitude 60°S, including passenger and cargo vessels, must switch to other types of fuel.
The only exception to this rule is for vessels involved in emergency rescues.
At the same time, the new North American Emission Control Area is formally established, with its provisions coming into effect 12 months after entering into force on August 1, 2012, joining the existing ECAs in the Baltic and North Seas.