Posted by admin


In this article, SQE Marine provides information about the current situation on Chinese emissions regulations. Specifically, China relevant authority (MSA) has set three ECA’s in China area in which from 01-01-2019, all vessels should use (all time) fuel with 0.5% m/m sulfur content.
0.5% m/m Sulfur Content in Emissions
The initial three established ECA’s started to be:
  •   Bohai-rim Waters (Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province)
  •   Yangtze River Delta
  •   Pearl River Delta
In accordance with The Ministry of Transport of China and the released Implementation Plan for Marine Air Pollutant Emission Control Areas on 10/12/2018, there is an extension of ECA areas as follows:
Coastal control areas: the general scope includes all sea areas and ports within 12 nautical miles of the baseline extension of Chinese territorial sea (excluding waters under the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), as well as Hainan waters and ports specially designated.
Inland control areas: Navigable waters of the Yangtze river main lines (from Shuifu in Yunnan Province to Liuhe Estuary in Jiangsu Province) and the Xijiang River main lines (from Nanning in Guangxi Province to Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province)

Starting 01 January 2019:

The sulphur content of fuel oil used by ships entering the ECA must not exceed 0.50%;
The sulphur content of marine fuel oil used by seagoing ships entering the inland ECAs must not exceed 0.50%; and Inland ships must use fuels in accordance with Chinese standards, either GB 252 or a new version which is expected to replace it.

Reporting Requirements

Additionally to the above low sulfur limit implementation China in order to support the IMO Data Collection System has set a regulation for reporting fuel consumption (from 01-01-2019) from all vessels entering/leaving China’s Ports. The Regulation applies to ships, entering or leaving the ports in China (all ports), of 400 gross tonnage and above or powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW propulsion power and above. This Regulation does not apply to warships or fishing ships.
There is some exemptions to this regulation as vessels trading within a fixed region and the time underway per voyage is 4 hours or less; or sailing on fixed route and the time underway per voyage is 12 hours or less, are exempted from reporting.

What to report

In relevant MSA circular “Regulation on Data Collection for Energy Consumption of Ships” (RDCECS) there is a standardized format for reporting through Data Report Format for the Energy Consumption of Ships.
Seagoing ships shall report energy consumption data of last voyage to MSA before leaving a port.
The data to be reported include:
  •   Fuel Oil Consumption
  •   Shore power consumption
  •   EEDI
  •   The use of scrubbers
  •   Transport work based on actual cargo or proxy (if actual cargo not available)
  •   Distance traveled
  •   Hours underway
  •   Operation hours
  •   How to report
All reports should be completed and submitted on line in relevant site of China MSA.
Actions required Ship Managers/ Operators of vessels calling China ports should prepare their vessels to respond to this requirement prior departing.


Maritime NZ, New Zealand’s shipping regulatory agency informed seafarers who are applying for or renewing a certificate of competency or proficiency, or for those they want to use a ring-fenced certificate, that they need to prove that medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards.
If you’re one of the seafarers who ring-fenced their ticket(s), you will also need a medical certificate to keep working. The medical certificate will be due two years from the date your verification card was issued. You will get a reminder from MNZ before it’s due. When it’s time, seafarers need to:
Go to a registered GP: Medical examinations for ring-fenced certificates can be conducted by any New Zealand registered GP.
  •  Take a photo ID, information on the tickets you hold and print the certificate
  •  Ask your GP to conduct a medical examination and complete the certificate.
  •  The GP will assign you a medical category. You need an A, A(T) or B to continue using your ticket.
  •   Keep the medical certificate. You need a copy with you when you are working on a ship as evidence of your fitness and any conditions.

To apply for or renew a national certificate of competency or proficiency, you need to prove that your medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards. For national certificates any GP can conduct a medical examination.
  •   Print out a certificate to take along to the GP:
  •   Looking for a GP: The medical examination for any national certificate may be conducted by any New Zealand  registered GP.
  •  Find an optometrist: If you are applying for a new Deck certificate then you’ll need to have an eyesight and colour vision test conducted by a registered optometrist. If you require an eyesight test by a registered optometrist, search the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board’s online register.
To apply for or renew an STCW or STCW-F certificate of competency or proficiency, you need to prove that your medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards. For an STCW or STCW-F certificate the medical examination must be conducted by an approved medical practitioner.
If you are applying for a new Deck certificate then you’ll need to have an eyesight and color vision test conducted by a registered optometrist.
If you require an eyesight test by a registered optometrist, search the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board’s online register.
According to Norwegian Maritime Authority, all seafarer’s doctors that were approved by the Norwegian Authorities, prior to July 1 2014, are obliged to complete a basic course for NMA seafarer’s doctors and to implement a quality system within 1 July 2019.
Specifically, the regulations that were entered in the 1st of July 2014 stated that seafarer’s doctors have a transitional period of five years to comply with the requirements.

Also, the requirements can be found in the Regulations of 5 June 2014 no. 805, concerning medical examination of employees on Norwegian ships and mobile offshore units section 19.
In order to be further approved by the Norwegian Authority, seafarer’s doctors must comply with the requirements until the 1st of July, 2019.
The following documentation on fulfilled requirements must be sent to the foreign service mission: 
The form “KS-0418 Self-declaration – Seafarer’s doctor”;
Diploma from the basic course for NMA seafarer’s doctors.
The Authority highlights that a completed course and implemented quality system does not automatically lead to a sure, renewed approval the next time of applying.
Concluding, the foreign service mission will be responsible in considering whether there is a seafarer’s doctor needed in the area to conduct medical examinations on employees on Norwegian ships and mobile offshore units. Also, the Authority will check if the requirements are fulfilled in a satisfactory way.
Transport Malta’s MSIU issued an investigation report into a serious incident concerning the Maltese-registered capsize bulk carrier ‘Capri’ that arrived at Dampier anchorage, Australia on 22 December 2017, where the ballast system’s valves were damaged, causing approximately 1.100 tonnes of sea water flooding the engine room.
The Incident
Capri, a bulk carrier, was scheduled to load 164,000 tonnes of iron ore for China. On December 24, while the vessel was anchored, it deballasted ballast nos 1 and 4 aiming to decrease the number of ballast tanks the vessel would have to deballast, once alongside when loading operations would start.
On December 25, the vessel berthed. Since loading hadn’t start, the chief chose to strip the ballast tanks that had been emptied during the day before. After completing that action, he advised the engine room to line up the ballast system so that deballasting could take place when loading started.
When the loading began on December 26, the chief ordered the engine room to get ready for deballasting operations. This action required the starting of an additional generator. The chief mate then opened the remote suction valves to ballast tanks nos. 2 port and starboard. Soon, a loud bang was heard and the vessel blacked out.
When power was restored, the crew found out a spray of water coming from the ballast pump suction strainer cover that was reaching the electrical distribution panel located close to the strainer. Water was steadily rising in the engine-room bilges. Despite isolating the ballast system, about 1,100 tonnes of sea water flooded into the engine-room.
Probable Cause
The ballast pump strainer cover and a ballast valve appeared to have been damaged when valves to ballast tanks port & starboard nos. 2 were opened. A number of electrical motors, switchboards, cabling, as well as the disabling of the main engine was directly attributed to the ingress of seawater into the engine-room. The vessel was subsequently towed to Singapore where the vessel’s equipment was reinstated.
Actions Taken
The MSIU were notified of the accident on 26 December 2017. Due to the remote location of the port and availability of an expert, the MSIU representative did not attend the vessel until the vessel had arrived at the repair facilities in Singapore.
On January 28, 2018 MSIU representatives visited the vessel and interviewed the crew members. In addition to that, extra information, documentary evidence and an inspection of the site was carried out.

Ballast piping diagram


Based on the information already available, the MSIU safety investigation will be focusing on several areas including:
  • the cause of the flooding and subsequent black out on board Capri;
  • the actions of the crew members on Capri;
  • situational factors, decision-making and monitoring during the events leading to the incident.

Leave a Reply