The first edition of IBIA’s Best practice guidance for suppliers for assuring the quality of bunkers delivered to ships was welcomed by the 72nd session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) in April, where it was agreed that it would be a good basis for the development of IMO guidance.

For the past few years, an IMO Correspondence Group on Fuel oil quality (CG) has been working on developing draft guidance on best practice for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered for use on board ships. The initial aim was to produce a trinity of such guidance documents: one for bunker purchasers/users; one for bunker suppliers; and one for Member States/coastal States.

However, at MEPC 69, the CG’s work on best practice for suppliers was paused and the Committee agreed that IMO should encourage the supply industry to develop a best practice document and present it to MEPC in due course.

Introducing the document to MEPC 72 last week, IBIA’s IMO representative, Unni Einemo said: “We have developed an IBIA best practice guidance for bunker suppliers, which, simply put, aims to ensure that the quality of bunkers delivered to ships meets the agreed purchase specifications and applicable global and local regulations. While the vast majority of bunkers delivered meet these requirements, quality can be unintentionally adulterated at various stages in the supply chain. The underlying principle when developing IBIA’s guidance was to identify and mitigate quality risks at all stages from the production of bunkers to delivery to ship.”

IBIA proposed that the paper could form the base document if the Committee wished to have a trinity of IMO best practice guidance document with regards to fuel quality. There was broad consensus that this was desirable and that IBIA’s document should form the basis for developing the IMO guidance for suppliers.

IBIA once again calls on its members to implement the best practices and report back on workability.

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23rd Apr 2018

23rd April 2018