Marine fuel with a sulphur content of more than 0.50% can be used within the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) until the end of 2023, following a late December decision by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EAC). It extended a current regulation allowing a sulphur content of up to 1.5% until 31 December 2023.
A spokesperson clarified that the decision refers only to fuel used by ships for inland water transport within the territory of the EAEU. This move followed appeals by shipping industry bodies to the Russian Government.
Experts pointed to a number of potential negative consequences from an immediate tightening of the marine fuel sulphur limit. It could, they claimed, cause price increases of up to 40%, bankruptcy of domestic shipping companies, job losses and disruption of the 2020 navigation season in domestic areas.
The industry was supported by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. The EAC Council said its decision would allow Russia to comply with MARPOL standards in international transport but avoid severe social and economic consequences in inland
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