Trieste port mandates low sulfur fuel
The Port of Trieste is set Thursday to start enforcing fines for ship owners who don't use low sulfur bunker fuel when they call at the Italian port.
Intertanko, an association that represents independent tanker owners, said in a note Wednesday that the port could assess fines from 15,000 euros to 150,000 euros for owners that fail to comply. Trieste is mandating the use of bunker that contains no more than 0.1 percent sulfur, a requirement that Intertanko said contravenes the International Maritime Organization's annex about the same issue.
The mandate applies to all vessels arriving at the port. While decrying the mandate, Intertanko said that the responsibility to comply, for its members, rests with ship charterers, not owners.
'This means that ship and port safety may be sacrificed purely in order to generate local harbor funds,' Intertanko said. 'Trieste Port does go on to say that a reduction of the fine may be requested within 30 days from the notification of fine, showing evidence of steps taken by ship operator, class and boiler manufacturer to complete the work enabling the vessel to burn fuel according to the EU Directive.
However once a fine reduction application has been submitted, Trieste Port points out that the supporting documents are subject to evaluation by the officer on duty; if this evidence is considered insufficient to merit a reduction of the fine to the minimum, then the fine could rise to the maximum set by law, 150,000 euros. Moreover, if a vessel which has been fined calls Trieste again without being in compliance with the EU Directive in question, the vessel, its owner/operator and its master will be banned from entering all Italian ports.'