SA must shape up maritime pollution laws or ship out
Failure to adhere to the new international decree could threaten the employment of SA seafarers globally
Outdated pollution legislation could leave SA ships and seafarers in the doldrums as the rest of the world adopts more environmentally friendly fuel.
As of January 1, SA ships can only use new 0.5% low-sulphur fuel under a decree by the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which governs global shipping.
However, local port state control officers are not able to enforce the decree due to a hold-up in promulgating an amendment to SA’s Pollution Prevention Act. Draft legislation, drawn up in 2019 in consultation with maritime experts, awaits finalisation by the transport department. Local ships are voluntarily complying with the new IMO fuel requirement, but the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) requires enabling legislation to enforce compliance of SA-flagged ships and foreign ships traversing SA’s territorial waters...