IAPH Promotes LNG Bunkering Accreditation Tool


By The Maritime Executive 10-18-2018 07:40:59

The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has released its Annual Report 2017-2018 highlighting progress made in supporting the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. 

The IAPH’s LNG Working Group has developed an audit and accreditation tool to recognize good LNG bunker facility operators and to have a deterrent effect on possible malpractice in the industry. It ensures the responsibilities of the operator are clearly defined and that careful consideration is given to the way LNG bunker operations are organized.

The LNG tool was officially presented in May at an IAPH conference and is now available on the lngbunkering.org website. The tool includes a bunker facility operators’ audit checklist that is based on industry standards, guidelines and best practice, from, for example, the International Organization for Standardization, the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel and the International Association of Classification Societies. Using the audit tool, any bunker facility operator’s quality management system may be audited on eight safety criteria. Once audited and accredited, ports may issue a license to operate in their port area.

Participating ports may share their audit results and information on the safety performance of a bunker facility operator with each other. There is no need for a port to go through the entire audit process individually once an operator has already been audited by a participating port. An important win for the operator is that, once fully audited, it does not necessarily need to go through such an intensive process again when it wants to operate in a different port.

The development of the tool is a first step towards an accreditation scheme in which a third-party accreditor would perform the auditing. At a meeting in Bremen, Germany, in June 2018, the working group decided that results and experience from the use of the audit tool are required before a third-party accreditor is introduced.

At this meeting there was also discussion about the scheme being expanded so that it becomes a blueprint not only for LNG bunker suppliers but also for suppliers of new clean marine fuels such as hydrogen and methanol. The tool may even be used for future accreditation of conventional bunker suppliers offering low-sulfur oil-based fuels.

The name of the group was changed to the IAPH Working Group on Clean Marine Fuels on October 1, 2018.

The IAPH was founded in November 1955 and represents 170 ports and 130 port-related organizations in about 90 countries worldwide. The member ports together handle more than 60 percent of the world’s seaborne trade cargo and nearly 70 percent of global container traffic.