Sulphur 2020: Fuel specification guidelines


Published: 27 September 2019

Credit to: Tae PY15MU /

In view of the upcoming implementation date of 1 January 2020 of the Sulphur Cap Regulation, Skuld would like to inform its members that the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has released new fuel specification guidelines for very low sulphur marine fuel oil "ISO / PAS 23263:2019".

This twelve-page document defines the general requirements that apply to all 0.50% sulphur fuels and confirms the applicability, at least for now, of the ISO 8217 to very low sulphur fuel oil of 0.5% sulphur content.

The guideline contains useful technical advice on fuel characteristics, such as:

  • Kinematic viscosity
  • Cold flow properties / wax formation
  • Stability
  • Ignition characteristics
  • Catalyst fines

The guidelines also consider fuel compatibility aspects including that of test methods.

Technically, fuels with maximum 0.50% sulphur will still need to meet the ISO 8217 specification and they continue to be classified in accordance with Table 2.

This guidance will be of use to a party seeking to evidence the quality of the fuel in a dispute scenario.