Marine fuel quality monitoring
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships.
This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxides emitted from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits, particularly for people living close to our ports and coasts. As well as the sulphur limit, IMO sets a number of other requirements for fuel quantity to control the emissions of pollutants and particulates.
IMO Resolution MEPC.320(74) - 2019 guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI provides further information relating to the implementation and use of low sulphur fuels; including key technical considerations for ship owners/operators, and possible safety implications relating to the use of low sulphur fuel oils.2019 guidelines for consistent implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit under MARPOL Annex VI [PDF: 176kB, 19 pages]
Maritime NZ and Trading Standards are operating a joint approach to marine fuel quality monitoring.
Trading Standards is responsible for monitoring the quality of fuel in New Zealand and ensuring it complies with relevant regulations. Trading Standards is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Both Maritime NZ and MBIE have responsibilities for implementing the marine fuel quality and sulphur oxides regulations of MARPOL Annex VI in New Zealand.
In general, Maritime NZ is responsible for ‘ship’ side regulatory and operational activity and Trading Standards is responsible for ‘shore’ or ‘supply’ side regulatory and operational activity.
Ships coming into New Zealand may be selected for routine random sampling and testing of on-board and in-use marine fuel in line with the Part 199 Rules and MARPOL Annex VI regulations.
The register of New Zealand marine fuel suppliers is kept on the Trading Standards website here:
All domestic fuel suppliers must supply fuel with acceptable sulphur limits of below 0.50%.
If your ship is coming into New Zealand and you are unable to obtain compliant fuel before your arrival you must complete a FONAR before your ship arrives in port and send it to Maritime NZ.
Submitting a FONAR does not mean that you don’t need to try and obtain compliant fuel, and is not an exemption from using compliant fuel. Maritime NZ will take the FONAR and any evidence submitted into consideration and make the final decision about whether to take any enforcement action.