BIMCO and the International Bunker Industry Association are launching a survey aimed at the winder maritime industry.

The organisations will use the views the survey gathers to inform an initiative to implement effective bunker licensing schemes – ideally by introducing mass flow meters – in bunker hubs around the world.

BIMCO and IBIA aim to improve transparency in the bunker industry to minimise scope for malpractice and reduce disputes over the quantity and quality of fuels supplied to ships.

IBIA formed the IBIA Bunker Licensing and MFM Working Group in 2021 to identify key elements of bunker licensing programmes.

IBIA chairman Henrik Zederkof said, “IBIA’s ambition is to create greater alignment and transparency across bunker ports and strengthen the credibility of our industry by the use of MFM”.

Probunkers CEO and IBIA Bunker Licensing and Mass Flow Meters Working Group chair Alexander Prokopakis said the working group consists of 24 IBIA members representing the supply industry, the shipping industry and other stakeholders such as ports and insurance companies.

“BIMCO has taken part in the working group since its first meeting in April 2021 and fully supports the initiative,” Mr Prokopakis said.

A bunker licence sets the conditions to allow bunker suppliers and bunker barge providers to operate within a specific jurisdiction. It will specify certain minimum requirements to obtain and keep permission to operate within the jurisdiction covered by the bunker licence.

The specific requirements may vary but an effective bunker licensing program is intended to ensure that the licence holders meet the minimum requirements set out in the licence, and that failure to comply will have severe consequences.

BIMCO secretary-general and CEO David Loosley said, “The implementation of licensing schemes that award high quality fuel oil suppliers will help improve the level of quality of the fuel delivered and provide significant financial savings for shipowners and bunker suppliers”.