The compromise solution on the issue of ensuring bunker quality agreed at the 67th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) has been welcomed by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA).
Submissions by IBIA addressing sulphur compliance issues and quality control had called for a series of practical measures including a licensing scheme and for the Bunker Delivery Note (BDN) to be a more useful document containing information on the specification of fuel ordered. Although these proposals were not implemented, MEPC 67 agreed to establish a correspondence group to develop draft guidance for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered for use on board ships, and to consider the adequacy of the current legal framework in MARPOL Annvx VI for assuring the quality of bunkers.
IBIA chief executive Peter Hall said:
“This has been a step forward by IMO. Previous MEPC meetings would not entertain a correspondence group, but taken together with a commitment to improve MARPOL regulations, we believe that the measures will improve the situation.”
“The ultimate safety risk to vessels using fuel ‘not fit for purpose’ is simply unacceptable in this modern day. Any improvements that can be made to the fuel supply chain are welcomed. and it is ultimately down to bunker suppliers to provide compliant fuels. However, buyers have a responsibility to specify the quality they require and be willing to pay for it. We believe that the authorities must provide sanctions on continuously underperforming suppliers. Without this, the current disquiet in the industry will continue.”
The International Bunker Industry Association exists to provide an international forum to address the concerns of all sectors of the international bunker industry.
The Association currently has over 650 organisations within its membership representing all within the marine fuel supply chain – “from the wellhead to the engine”.
IBIA exists to represent the industry in discussions and negotiations with international and national policy makers, legislators and other stakeholders.
We review, clarify, improve, develop and endorse where appropriate, industry methods, practices and documentation.
Our objective is to increase the professional understanding and competence of all who work in the industry.
We represent the Marine fuels supply industry at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
IBIA actively seeks to involve its members through its technical work groups, regional forums and annual convention to conclude on major issues and topics of the time, creating the “IBIA Position” to present to IMO and to industry.
IBIA champions the continued development of professionals within the bunker industry through its training programme and publications.