All freight shipped between Northern Ireland and Britain will soon be subject to a hike in costs.

Businesses from the north who are shipping goods across the Irish sea could be set to face a hike in costs as a new worldwide surcharge come into place. These additional charges are linked to the new measures in adapting to sulphur oxide targets, those of which come into force across the globe in January 2020.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said that this change could add an additional £21 million a year to transport costs. These costs cannot be absorbed by the logistic companies and instead will be passed along the supply chain to manufacturers, retailers and distributors.
FTA’s policy manager in the north, Seamus Leheny said

“While the industry has been expecting increased costs as a result of the new rules around low sulphur fuel, a new surcharge mechanism seems unnecessary”.

This new surcharge is calculated on the basis of the distance travelled by ferry and whether a HGV trailer is accompanied or not.

The decision to implement a global sulphur limit of 0.50% m/m in 2020 was taken by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the regulatory authority for international shipping. It is a significant cut from the previous 3.5% m/m global limit that is currently in place. This new change demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO to ensure all shipping meets its environmental obligations.
Ship heavy fuel is high in sulphur and amongst the dirtiest fuels used in transportation.

“The world has waited a long time for the shipping industry to clean up its act and move toward cleaner fuel,” said John Maggs, senior policy officer at NGO Seas at Risk.

“That moment has come. Cleaner shipping fuel will become a legal reality in 2020. Thousands of premature deaths will be avoided and millions of people around the world will now quite literally be able to breathe easier.”

All EU countries were in support of this implementation in 2020.

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