Regulation changes are afoot again. In reality they are never far away as the sector is forever changing to meet the evolving needs of the modern boating and shipping world. Work is now well underway by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the UK to update the “colour codes” that are used by coding examiners on vessels under 24 metres in commercial use. Presentations have been given to the UK based Certifying Authorities in recent weeks and a roll out of the first phase is not too far away I suspect. The codes are long overdue for a refresh, and this is to welcomed when the current codes are finally updated. In my role as Chair of the Certifying Authority Professional Standards Working Group, I have a special interest in seeing what the outcome is.
The other significant looming regulation change is the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap which is set to hit the shipping sector and to be enforced from January. Disruptive change for the industry for sure, the word on the street amongst those in the know is that many ship and vessel owners/operators are struggling to be ready to meet the new regulations for a variety of reasons. The new regulation will see marine sector emissions in international waters slashed. The marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions by over 80% by switching to lower sulphur fuels. Clearly this is a challenge and not without significant cost for some, so it will be interesting to see how Flag States react in their local waters to non-compliant vessels.