MEPC adopts best practice guidance for bunker buyers

Move is designed to help assure the quality of fuel oil delivered to, and used aboard ships.

The Stolt Virtue was refuelled during the first concurrent bunkering operation at Stolthaven's facility in Jurong Island, Singapore, on January 30, 2018. Image credit: Stolthaven Terminals

Updated on 16 Apr 2018 12:33 GMT

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), at its 72nd session in London, last week adopted a best practice guidance for fuel oil purchasers/users for assuring the quality of fuel oil used on board ships.

The committee implemented measures to help assure the quality of fuel oil delivered to, and used aboard ships, with respect to both compliance with MARPOL regulations and the safe and efficient operation of ships.

The guidance also addresses the quality management systems of companies delivering, transferring, sampling and treating fuel, as well as the technical details to be included in the specification.

Earlier this month, the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) launched the first edition of its 'Best practice guidance for suppliers for assuring the quality of bunkers delivered to ships', which addresses procedures to safeguard and maintain bunker fuel quality control throughout the entire supply chain - from the production of bunkers all the way through to the delivery to ships.

IBIA's supply aid, which was submitted to MEPC 72, is designed to complement the guide for purchasers, help improve standards and lower the risk of fuel delivered not meeting the buyer's quality specifications.

The bunker association concedes that its guidance is "ambitious" and that "many bunker suppliers would struggle to adhere to various aspects of these best practices", but is also open to the idea of revising the document in response to feedback received from industry stakeholders.