Cruise Ship Fined for Violating Norwegian Fjords’ SOx Limit
The MS Magellan, owned by the Greek company Global Cruise Lines, has received a fine for violating the legislation on fuel sulphur limits in the world heritage fjords.
According to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, the cruise ship was hit with a violation fine of NOK 700,000 (USD 80,000) after it entered two world heritage fjords with sulphur values far beyond the legal limit values.
On April 16, the NMA received notes of concern about smoke emissions from the Bahamas-registered cruise ship, which was berthed in Flåm. These were followed up by an inspection on board when the ship arrived at Geiranger the next day.
The NMA surveyors measured the sulphur content of the ship’s fuel to be 0.17 %, over the maximum allowed sulphur content of 0.10% in the world heritage fjords.
Tracking of the vessel’s AIS signal shows that the vessel made ports of call at both Eidfjord and Flåm in the days preceding the port of call at Geiranger. Both of these ports are located within the North Sea ECA.
The NMA explained that the extent of the violation is significant in this case, where a ship has sailed a considerable distance within the emission control area using a fuel with an excessive sulphur content.
“Furthermore, as an aggravating factor, emphasis is put on the fact that the new rules concerning the world heritage fjords were violated. Overall, this implies that violation fines at a historic high level are imposed on the company,” NMA said.
Alf Tore Sørheim, Head of Department of Operative Supervision, informed that NMA will have an increased presence in the world heritage fjords in the upcoming months with a focus on “making sure that the new environmental requirements are met.”
“The NMA has made efforts to ensure safe and effective controls of sulphur emissions. Our surveyors are equipped with handheld devices that provide an immediate indication of whether the vessel satisfies the requirements or not. Moreover, we have invested in sensors which can be attached to a drone to detect sulphurous exhaust gases,” Sørheim added.