American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) News Press Release Archives ABS Updates Advisory Ahead of Impending 2020 Global Sulfur Cap

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jul 17, 2017

For more information, contact:
ABS Media Relations

ABS Updates Advisory Ahead of Impending 2020 Global Sulfur Cap

ABS Scrubber Advisory offers comprehensive guidance on the latest available exhaust gas abatement technologies.

(Houston) ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, updated the ABS Advisory on Exhaust Gas Scrubber Systems (Scrubber Advisory) to help industry prepare for IMO’s 2020 global sulfur cap.

“As I meet with owners and operators around the globe, there is a common focus on how best to comply with the upcoming global sulfur cap,” says ABS Executive Vice President for Global Marine Dr. Kirsi Tikka. “This Advisory provides in-depth guidance on scrubber technology selection and comes just as the marine industry is weighing the right compliance options for their fleets.”

Central to the impending 2020 global sulfur cap are requirements to reduce the sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships. Installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), commonly referred to as scrubbers, is a potential solution for owners looking to comply with the upcoming requirements. This updated Advisory includes background on air emission regulations and explores the different types of available scrubber technologies along with the associated installation and operational challenges for each.

“As we close in on 2020, scrubbers are under increasing consideration as a solution for many vessels,” says ABS Director of Environmental Performance Thomas Kirk. “By utilizing this Advisory to understand the unique characteristics of the available scrubber technologies, the marine industry will be able to make smarter decisions on the future of their fleets.”

ABS has led the way in helping industry prepare for upcoming air emission requirements. ABS introduced the world’s first scrubber-ready notation, providing guidance for owners who are planning to retrofit their vessel with a SOx scrubber at a future date. By looking ahead during the design phase and accounting for possible retrofits in the future, owners are better prepared for future regulatory requirements and able to more cost-effectively retrofit their vessels.

ABS also published the ABS Guide for Exhaust Emission Abatement which applies to vessels fitted with an exhaust emission abatement system, including SOx scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction systems and exhaust gas recirculation for nitrous oxide (NOx) emission control. ABS can provide further support by completing a techno-economic analysis of the arrangements. Such studies consider the impact of capital and operating expenses to determine the life cycle cost of the installation, providing critical information to support vessel owners and operators in the decision making process.

To download the ABS Advisory on Exhaust Gas Scrubber Systems, go to


About ABS
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification organization devoted to promoting the security of life and property and preserving the natural environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine and offshore assets.