October 6, 2014
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) is calling on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to create legislation that will ensure a “decent and honest” bunker market. IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jørgensen told maritime news provider ShippingWatch that the quality of supplied bunkers is continuing to decline. He added that a majority of the global fuel suppliers fail to comply with the standards adopted in 2010 (ISO 8217:2010) and are still using outdated standards.
It goes without saying that we need to speed up the initiatives introduced in the bunker industry. “I do believe it shows a lack of respect that people refuse to comply with this. We have an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard in the world, and we need to comply with it. But the biggest problem is that when an ISO standard is introduced for bunker trade, it’s not a regulation, it’s a voluntary agreement,” he was quoted as saying. “It goes without saying that we need to speed up the initiatives introduced in the bunker industry. We need to introduce new rules that suppliers and buyers must comply with.”
The association has submitted a proposal to the IMO that calls for clear global rules for the bunker industry. The proposal includes implementing a license system with specific criteria and requirements that the suppliers must comply with and which can be revoked from suppliers who fail to do so. It also suggests that ports perform frequent mandatory controls and that unregistered suppliers be banned from operating.
The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is scheduled to discuss the proposal during its meeting next week. Meanwhile, the IBIA will host its annual convention and forum in the German port city of Hamburg in November.