The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) yesterday (4 November) called on the world’s ports to sign up to a Port Charter scheme to improve bunkering standards.
Signatories to the IBIA Port Charter will be required to demonstrate that they have a licensing scheme for bunker suppliers in their port; that they are able to regulate and enforce their regulations covering bunkering operations; that there are sufficient qualified personnel working in the bunker supply chain and that they have effective testing regimes in place.
Launching the scheme at the IBIA Annual Convention in Hamburg, IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jorgensen said: “IBIA believes that partnerships with ports to deliver “Quality, Quantity and Transparency” are a key element in delivering a robust fuel supply chain. As changes occur going forward with new fuels and variants designed to meet compliance, we need now more than ever to be vigilant in ensuring quality is maintained. It would be a great day for maritime commerce and the bunker industry if the perception that the quality of bunkers was habitually “poor” or “bad” was consigned to history.”
The IBIA Port Charter already has the support of the ports of Rotterdam, Gibraltar and Singapore.
Welcoming IBIA’s move Roland van Assche, Director Oil, Storage, Refining & Shipping of the Port of Rotterdam said: “This is a timely move and one which has our full support. Bunkering operations are at the heart of the port operations and demonstrating to our customers that we have a system in place to ensure that industry best-practice is being implemented in our port is an important message.”
Dr Parry Oei, Director, Port Services, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said: “As a top bunkering port, we will continue to raise our bunkering standards to ensure fuel quality, quantity, and transparency in bunkering operations. The Port of Singapore is supportive of IBIA’s initiative to ensure integrity in the bunkering industry.”
Bob Sanguinetti CEO and Captain of the Port of Gibraltar said: “As a leading bunkering port we have developed processes and procedures which are seen as industry benchmark of good practice around the world. We are delighted to support IBIA in its drive to improve bunker standards globally.”
The quality of bunkers delivered to ships is under increasing scrutiny. In October the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) MEPC 67 agreed to establish a correspondence group to develop draft guidance for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered for use on board ships, and to consider the adequacy of the current legal framework in MARPOL Annex VI for assuring the quality of bunkers.
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