IBIA calls on members to participate in developing Supplier’s Guide to Best Practice

IBIA calls on members to participate in developing Supplier’s Guide to Best Practice

A guide to good practice can help bunker suppliers tick all the right boxes

In an ideal world, all marine fuel deliveries would be conducted safely, cause no harm to humans or the environment, the fuel supplied to ships would meet the specified quality and regulatory requirements, and the quantity would be reliably and accurately measured. Moreover, the delivery would be timely and efficient. These ideals are regularly achieved by suppliers with good procedures in place, but what are these procedures?

To help the industry, IBIA is looking for input from members to identify the steps suppliers can take to achieve these ideals, and collate them into a Supplier’s Guide to Best Practice.

The guide needs to address a number of areas, many of which are interlinked. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the intention is to draw on existing standards and guidelines. We realise that local circumstances vary, but some principles are generally applicable.

The IBIA Supplier’s Guide to Best Practice aims to include the following:

This will look at steps suppliers can take to ensure the quality of fuels delivered to ships meet the relevant specifications (e.g. ISO 8217), are free of contaminants and meet regulatory sulphur and flashpoint limits.

This part of the guide would also contribute to an industry response to a call from the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to provide draft best practice for fuel oil providers and submit pertinent proposals to MEPC 72 in April 2017.

This will look at how suppliers can ensure the recipient is satisfied that the ship has received the quantity stated on the bunker delivery note (BDN).

The use of mass flow meters would be covered in this part of the guide, recognising that the situation in Singapore is unique as it has made the use of MFM systems mandatory for deliveries of heavy fuel oil.

This will look at operational elements to ensure the delivery is performed in a way that protects human health, safety and the environment. It will also deal with fuel sampling during delivery to ship, which is an integral part of quality assurance.

This will address items such as providing correct BDNs, sample labels, MSDS as well as any optional supporting documentation such as product quality certificates and proof of a supply chain management system. It will also look at contractual issues and dispute resolution.


IBIA believes such a Guide would be very useful to the industry and is calling on interested members to come forward to take part in developing it. It is your opportunity to ensure the outcome is both workable and ambitious, not least the part of the Guide that would inform the draft best practice for fuel oil providers that will be forwarded to the next meeting of the IMO’s MEPC.

Unni Einemo will coordinate the work and if you want to take part, we urge you to contact her on unni@ibia.net

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