Shipping & Logistics

Kenya rolls out new rules on ship emissions

Kilindini harbour
Singapore container ship Ever Dainty arrives at the Port of Mombasa through the Kilindini harbour in January. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has officially adapted new regulations set by the International Maritime Organisation on ship fuel in a bid to make the industry more sustainable.

The Kenya Maritime Authority has rolled out a national guideline for the implementation of the regulations according to IMO 2020, that aims to cut sulphur oxide emissions from ships.

The regulation states that the amount of sulphur content in ship fuel should not exceed 0.5 percent mass per mass down from 3.5 percent sulphur content that was allowed prior to January 1 2020 when the law became effective.

“Kenya is a signatory to the International Convention on Prevention of Marine Pollution by Ship (MARPOL) Convention 73/78) where ships are required from January 1 2020 to use fuel sulphur not exceeding 0.5 percent unless abatement technology are installed on board to reduce sulphur oxides in the engine emission,” said KMA in a public notice.

“This new measure is aimed at reducing the effect of acid rains on crops and structure in addition to improving air quality and consequently avert respiratory diseases and health of human beings.”


In order to ensure the effective implementation of this measure, KMA has collaborated with government agencies.

“The guideline is set out to a multi-agency common approach in ensuring effectiveness and efficient implementation of the measure by both international and domestic ships,” said KMA in the notice

In addition, KMA said the states Kenya’s position in dealing with waste water from ship scrubbers by prohibiting discharge while the ship is within the Kenyan ports proximity.

The authority has since instructed stakeholders in the shipping industry including all ship agents, ship owners, ship masters, ship managers, marine fuel oil suppliers to familiarise themselves with the content of the guidelines.

According to the IMO website, the IMO 2020 regulations which kicked in from January 1 2020, will mean a 77 percent drop on overall sulphur oxide emissions from ships, which is an equivalent to an annual reduction of approximately 8.5 million metric tonnes of sulphur oxide.

Tiny harmful matters that form when fuel is burnt will also be reduced.

In December last year, Kenya was reelected to the IMO council under category C in London during the 31 st Assembly of IMO meeting.

Nations in Category C have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and their election to the council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

Other countries in category C are Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.