Five foreign shipping companies reported to the Ministry of Environment and Food

Fuel samples contained anywhere between 20 percent more sulfur than allowed to nine times over permissible levels

Five international shipping companies have recently been reported to the Ministry of Environment and Food for flouting regulations that relate to the levels of sulfur in fuel used by ships.

The acceptable level of sulfur in fuel is tightly regulated by the ministry in an effort to prevent excessive air pollution.  The Ministry has now reported the matter to the police.

Cutting corners
Samples of the fuel used by the companies showed it contained levels of sulfur well in excess of regulations – anywhere from 20 percent in excess of the set limit to nine times over the limit.

The companies are said to have been benefiting economically by cutting corners.

The economic incentive for cheating is large,” said environmental and food minister Esben Lunde Larsen in a press release.

“Therefore, we have reinforced the control of sulfur in ship fuel.”

READ MORE: The hunt is on for maritime polluters

Since new regulations were implemented in January 2015, ships sailing in the North and Baltic seas must use fuel containing 90 percent less sulfur than stipulated previously.