The International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 has improved the shipping industry six months after its implementation on January 1, 2020, but the industry panel still expects an increase in dispute cases. In California, the regulation primarily sought to curb sulphur emissions from ships. Various parties have continuously disagreed on the quality and use of very low suphur fuel oil (VLSFO).
Disputes have risen between scrubber owners and manufacturers, bunker charterers and suppliers, and bunker owners and charterers. Some scrubber owners have patiently waited for producers to resolve issues associated with scrubbers onboard the ships.
The quality of bunkers has resulted in a significant number of disputes between bunker charterers and owners. Overall, owners feel that the compliant oil supplied by the charterers is contaminated, meaning it cannot be used to run their fortifications. Since a significant percentage of the VLSFO is blended, it is difficult to understand the cause of the problem that leads to an influx of disputes.
Corrosion contributes to the failure of control and mechanical systems. Washwater is highly acidic and corrosive, meaning it can readily wear out scrubber pipes within
six months if the installation was improperly completed. Training the crew is a vital solution to effective pinpointing of issues and proper reporting to improve contingency planning.
Maritime law is sometimes a complex phenomenon that may include more than one complainant or perceived wrongdoer. A maritime lawyer may act as a mediator to help two disputants agree on an existing problem and resolve it amicably. In case an agreement is not reached, the attorney may help a complainant file a civil complaint under maritime law to seek compensation or defend a respondent against claims raised by a complainant.