Magellan fined for contravening emission regulations in Norwegian fjords
“The NMA has agreed with the local harbour authorities to take pictures and report to us when there is any concern regarding smoke from ships,” explained Bjorn Egil Pedersen, head of department legislation and international relations department, Norwegian Maritime Authority. Reporting covers both undesirable masses of visual exhaust fumes or using scrubbers with visible visual smoke or open-loop.
It is then up to the NMA to conduct a port state control and find out if the ships are following the requirements when entering the World Heritage fjords.
In this respect, Jostein Lange Bergset, port director Flam Cruise Port, said: “Magellan [Cruise & Maritime Voyages] visited us 16 April 2019. We reported it because of the visual smoke. We didn’t know that they had too high sulphur levels.” The NMA then initiated a port state inspection in Geiranger the following day.
Jon Olav Stedje, harbour master FCP, commented: “Since 2016 we have tried to talk to Magellan and CMV to reduce the visual impact that the vessel is creating, and we have seen some progress in making the exhaust ‘cleaner’”.
Pedersen continued: “The NMA has prepared a list of ships to be prioritised for environment inspection. As such Magellan was identified in both aspects. Our inspectors went on board and checked various environmental issues. The inspection revealed a high level of sulphur. The sulphur content was checked on board and in a laboratory. But results were above legal level. This is the reason for the fine.”
CMV was fined €75,000 for having too high sulphur levels (0.17% instead of 0.1%) in the fuel used on Magellan whilst cruising the Norwegian world heritage fjords in April. Pedersen explained that the company had been given three weeks to comment on the fine.
Managers of Magellan, Global Cruise Lines (GCL), said in a statement. “On 17 April, during a call at Geiranger, Norway, Magellan received a Notice of the Possible Issuing of a Violation Fine, following a routine fuel sample test. GCL apologise for this possible breach which occurred as a result of a human error.
“GCL has stringent controls in place to ensure it complies with all applicable emissions standards. These controls include sending samples of all fuel received onboard to internationally-accredited, independent labs for analysis. GCL has reconfirmed that the fuel used in this instant was compliant with sulphur emission standards.”
The company stated that it had conducted a “full investigation and identified and corrected the fault, which was linked to human error which resulted in the minor cross-contamination of the fuel oil”. GCL is in communication with the NMA to discuss the reassessment of the fine given the accidental nature of this isolated incident.
Pedersen commented: “Magellan is the first ship to be inspected and the first to receive a fine with regard to the new regulations for the world heritage fjords. So far two ships has been inspected [the second was within the limits]. The number of ships to be inspected will increase in the coming weeks.
“A follow-up inspection has been planned for the Magellan to make sure they comply with the regulation. We are not aware of what the company has done since the first inspection, but we expect the ship to be in line with all relevant regulations. The ship will visit the World Heritage fjords several times this year.”
GCL explained that Magellan was re-inspected by the Norwegian Authorities on May 21 in the port of Bergen and that: “The test results showed 0.054% sulphur content, well below the 0.1% threshold required under Norwegian law”.