The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) welcomes mandatory bunker measuring systems on bunker supply vessels in ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge, calling for more ports to follow suit. With the measure, the port authorities aim to make the ARA bunker market more transparent, efficient and reliable. During the first half of 2023, the port authorities will determine an “ambitious yet realistic deadline” for when it will become mandatory.

The Authorities of the two major European ports will make mandatory the use of a bunker measuring system (such as a Mass Flow Meter) on board bunker vessels, to measure the exact amount of fuel delivered to sea-going vessels.

This follows an independent study in both Antwerp and Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, which showed regular quantity issues in the bunker market.

As IBIA says today in a statement, “the decision follows an independent study, through interviews and surveys, undertaken by CE Delft for these ports. The CE Delft study outcome is similar to the findings of an extensive survey undertaken by IBIA and BIMCO in the first half of 2022, which found strong industry support for bunker supplier licensing and more use of mass flow meters”.

These findings are seen as key tools for improving market conditions and reducing disputes between bunker suppliers and buyers, as IBIA hightlights.

During the first half of 2023, the port authorities will evaluate and identify suitable bunker measuring systems. They will also determine the date on which the obligation to bunker with a bunker measuring system on board bunkering vessels will enter into force in Antwerp and Zeebrugge as well as Rotterdam.

The port authorities will choose an “ambitious yet realistic deadline”, as it is mentioned in a press release by the port of Rotterdam. “The different companies in the bunker chain will be given sufficient time to adapt to this measure. The requirement will be included in the licence for bunker fuel suppliers”, as it is also said.

According to the press release announcing their decision, 40 out of 170 bunker vessels in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge are equipped with a bunker measuring system.