Implementation and enforcement of Regulation 18 of MARPOL Annex VI, including control of the quality of fuels delivered to ships

The Bunkers Sub-committee developed a strategy plan to invite the IMO to consider the need for a transparent and concrete control on the quality of bunkers delivered to ships. This was endorsed by ISTEC and by INTERTANKO’s Council.


Based on this, the Sub-committee and ISTEC developed a submission to the IMO, jointly with Norway. The document aims to achieve a better enforcement of current MARPOL Annex VI provisions with regard to the quality of bunkers delivered to ships. The concrete proposed changes should contain text which considers that Port (local adequate) Authorities should better monitor the quality of the fuels delivered to ships. The document was considered by MEPC 61 and forwarded for further discussions to BLG 15 to be held in February 2011.


The reason for this action is to overcome the lack of current control of bunkers delivered to ships with the consequent poor quality fuels delivered and problems the ships encounter. This also includes deliveries of fuels with sulphur content above the limits imposed by MARPOL Annex VI.


MARPOL Annex VI – Regulation 14

INTERTANKO is a participant in the correspondence group established to develop a methodology for assessing the means for ships to comply with a global cap on sulphur content in bunkers to be used by ships as from 2020.


PSC practices for control of onboard bunkers

The Sub-committee agreed that INTERTANKO should consider approaching IMO/MEPC 61 to address the need for consistency in PSC verification and, if fuel samples are taken by Port State Control (PSC) officers, suggests that the IMO establish a standard practice.


Revised ISO 8217

The Sub-committee is represented in the IMO’s ISO working group and contributes to the revision process.


The revised ISO 8217:2010 was published and was ready for use as from 1 July 2010. INTERTANKO considers the revised ISO 8217:2010 to be a good step in the right direction. INTERTANKO did express concern that the new limit on H2S in bunkers of 2 ppm is given in liquid phase when all safety occupational limits are given in the vapour phase. However, INTERTANKO would encourage usage of the ISO 8217:2010 as soon as possible.



INTERTANKO has established a web page containing information from flag states submitted to the IMO and information to be recorded by members on experiences with suppliers of non-compliant fuels and associated problems.


EU Sulphur Directive and CARB

The Sub-committee monitored the implementation practices in various EU ports of the provision for use of 0.1% sulphur content fuel at ports. The Sub-committee also monitored any incidents and experience reports with fuel switching in California waters, as required by the CARB regulations. All this information was disseminated to members and was used to further develop the OCIMF/INTERTANKO Fuel Switching Guidelines.


OCIMF and INTERTANKO Fuel Switching Guidelines

With the EU Directive 2005/33/EC, which came into force 1 January 2010, and the CARB regulations and the forthcoming provision of MARPOL Annex VI for use of 0.1% sulphur content fuel in ECAs (1 January 2015), INTERTANKO/OCIMF issued a joint document with regard to risk assessment for switching to ultra-low-sulphur distillate in auxiliary boilers.

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Dragos Rauta
Technical Director
Email: dragos.rauta@intertanko.com
P: +47 22 12 26 50

Gil-Yong Han
Senior Manager, Technical
Email: GilYong.Han@intertanko.com
P: + 44 207 977 7024

Donna Leon
Assistant Manager, Technical
Email: donna.leon@intertanko.com
P: +47 22 12 26 87