And so, 1 January 2020 has come and gone. The sulphur cap is with us and the sea air is, rightly, cleaner for it. After so much has been said about the new MARPOL Annex VI sulphur cap it might be thought that there is nothing much left to talk about. Theory is now reality and all we can do is sit back and see whether the predictions of disrupted supplies, uncertain quality and unpredictable enforcement come true.
Firms such as Reed Smith are answering practical questions every day about the cap, including reports from across the world of higher than expected sulphur content in apparently “compliant” fuel. Now that it has legal force, getting to grips with this and the other uncertainties of the cap is more important than ever if the industry is to manage the risks inherent in living with the limit.