Ghana will from January 2020 join the international community to begin the enforcement of the Maritime Pollution Act 932.
The Act seeks to reduce the sulphur content of fuel oil used by vessels from three point five percent mass per mass to zero point five percent mass per mass.
However, the carriage of fuel oil with more than zero point five percent mass per mass will be banned in accordance with the regulation. In view of this from March 1, 2020, government has put together an Inter-Ministerial Committee to put in measures to ensure that Ghana is ready from January 2020.
The Maritime Sector alone consumes about three point eight million barrels of fuel oils per day. Ships therefore account for more than 90 percent of the transport sector fuel emissions. The IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap Regulation is therefore to reduce marine pollution and the atmosphere.
The Deputy Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority in Charge of Operations and Technical Services, Daniel Appianing, said the ban will lead to a substantial improvement in air quality and protect the environment. This he said is in line with the UN`s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Chief Director for the Ministry of Transport, Mabel Sagoe, said Ghana needs to prepare adequately and adopt a policy strategy to adhere to the IMO regulation. The Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismark admitted that though IMO`s Sulphur Cap Regulation is laudable, the implementation will come as a cost to shipping lines and all category of shipments.
During the questions and answers section, importers and exporters appealed to government to ensure that cost incurred by the shipping lines when the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap comes into force is not unduly passed unto them.