IMO released a circular called: “Guidance on best practice for fuel oil purchasers/users for assuring the quality of fuel oil used on board ships.” This notice aims to help fuel oil purchasers/users ensure the quality of fuel oil delivered to, and used on board ships, with respect to the MARPOL requirements and the efficient operation of the ship.
According to the circular, the fuel oil purchaser should ensure that the fuel oil ordered is correctly specified considering the ship’s technical capabilities and intended area of operation. These requirements should be communicated to the charterer.
Moreover, fuel oil purchasers must purchase fuel oil from quality-oriented fuel oil suppliers. The following questions can help fuel oil purchasers to identify quality-oriented fuel oil suppliers:
- Is the fuel oil supplier included in a local or national registry? – Verify that the supplier is listed on the register of local suppliers of fuel oil required to
be maintained by the Parties to MARPOL Annex VI;
- Does the fuel oil supplier have a license issued by the coastal State or a local port authority?
- Does the fuel oil supplier have a quality management system (QMS) in place? – A quality-oriented fuel oil supplier should have a QMS meeting the requirements of ISO 9001 Quality management systems – Requirements and ISO 14001 Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use (or equivalent national standards);
- Does the fuel oil supplier have procedures for fuel oil transfer operations?
If fuel oil will be delivered using barges or tankers, fuel oil purchasers should request that information on quality assurance for these vessels should be included within the information provided on their QMS.
In addition, to ensure the quality of fuel, fuel oil purchasers should consider other sources of information and assessment methods such as:
- Requesting that the supplier provides references from existing customers;
- Use of local knowledge, consulting local agents;
- Use of statistics. Various sources collect data concerning fuel oil supplier activities;
- Reviewing information made public by Member States pursuant to regulation 18.9 of MARPOL Annex VI;
- Consulting lists which grade suppliers by the quality of the fuel oils supplied through testing agency data;
See more information in the PDF herebelow