In what could be one of the first penalisations relating the HSFO carriage ban that came into effect earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates has banned an MSC containership and will take legal action against its master for violating the rules.
The United Arab Emirates has prohibited an MSC boxship from operating in the country’s waters for a year in connection with violations linked to the 0.5% sulphur cap.
The UAE Federal Transport Authority said it has banned the Panama-flagged, 2006-built, 9,178 teu MSC Joanna for carrying non-compliant fuel oil and not following orders from local port authorities, according to a circular seen by Lloyd’s List.
After introducing the 0.5% sulphur cap on January, which prohibits the use of high-sulphur fuel oil without scrubbers, the International Maritime Organization then brought in a ban on the carriage for use of HSFO on board all vessels without scrubbers, from the start of March. MSC Joanna does not appear to have scrubbers on board.
“The ship was found to be carrying more than 700 MT [metric tonnes] of HSFO when boarded at Jebel Ali Port, despite the repeated warning given to her in advance to de-bunker the non-compliant fuel before calling UAE ports,” the FTA circular said.
The regulator further reported that although port authorities ordered the vessel to offload the HSFO before leaving Jebel Ali to comply with the carriage ban, the ship sailed without doing that and without getting permission from Port State Control officials to leave.
It also said the master of the vessel has been barred from working on any ship calling at UAE waters and would face legal action from the UAE due to the violations the ship committed.
The circular did not specify on what date the incident occurred.
Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed the vessel last called at Jebel Ali port on the morning of March 12 and departed the morning of the following day. The ship is currently headed towards India’s Jawaharlal Nehru port, followed by a stop at Colombo before heading back to the Mediterranean Sea.
Lloyd’s List Intelligence data on the vessel’s history shows MSC Joanna uses ports between the Mediterranean Sea, including Greek and Turkish ones, and the Arabian Sea, calling frequently at the UAE and other ports in the region.