IBIA Pointers for Problem Fuels: What Should Ship Owners Do?

A significant number of ships have experienced serious operational problems – chiefly sticking/seizing fuel pumps and in some cases filter blockages – after lifting bunker fuels from the US Gulf region since late March and during April/May. Most cases have reportedly been caused by intermediate fuel oils (IFOs) bunkered in the Houston area, though there are indications that similar problems have been caused by fuels bunkered in Panama.

At this stage there are differing views as to the root cause of this problem and how to mitigate the various risks. Several fuel testing agencies have reported that the fuels met ISO 8217 specifications during routine testing against the standard. It was only when vessels began encountering problems they began forensic-level investigative fuel analysis. Reports from testing agencies have identified certain commonalities between these fuels indicating they contain chemical contaminants from non-petroleum sources. The most commonly reported findings include phenols and Tall Oil but the reports from testing agencies are not conclusive and their investigations are continuing.

It seems almost certain, however, that the fuels contravene Clause 5 in ISO 8217 and Regulation 18.3 of MARPOL Annex VI which broadly state that fuels shall not contain any material in a concentration that adversely affects the performance of machinery.

Is This New?

Over the past 30 years there have been episodes around the world where ship owners faced a surge in quality issues. Usually, the origin of problem fuels has been limited to a specific geographic area. Unfortunately, the nature of the contamination can often be so obscure that no amount of routine analysis will make the defect apparent until the fuel proves defective in use and the subsequent detailed forensic examination identifies the cause.

In many of these episodes, the source of the contaminant is never adequately identified, but in summary, the root cause was a lack of control of the quality of cutter stock used in the marine pool.

IBIA has published a “Best practice guidance for suppliers for assuring the quality of bunkers delivered to ships” and we believe that by following the recommendation in in Chapter 4, in particular 4.2 – Quality control during production of bunkers and 4.3 – Quality control in the supply chain, would improve control of the blend components used and help to prevent such cases.

What Should We Do?

As an industry association we are obliged to address the concerns of our ship owner members. In this instance, a useful question to address for ship owners would be “What should I do to ensure that this doesn’t happen to me?”

It is difficult to answer this precisely when it hasn’t yet been universally agreed what this”is; however, here are some pointers:

  • If you have recently bunkered in the Houston area or Panama, it is strongly recommended to get a solid overview of the quality of the fuel prior to using it.
  • If you do use it without going beyond routine ISO 8217 quality tests, pay close attention to fuel oil system components, in particular fuel pumps and filters.
  • Consult technical managers/chief engineers within your own company and/or from other technical service providers, including your bunker supplier(s).



Source: International Bunker Industry Association



Hrvatska udruga brodara Mare Nostrum inicirala je nastavak pregovora oko Nacionalnog kolektivnog ugovora za hrvatske pomorce na putničkim brodovima i trajektima.

Izvor slike: Rab danas

Sastanak radi nastavka pregovora oko Nacionalnog kolektivnog ugovora za hrvatske pomorce na putničkim brodovima i trajektima će se održati 20. lipnja 2018., s početkom u 11 sati u prostorijama Jadrolinije, Riva 16.

Na sastanak su pozvani Sindikat pomoraca Hrvatske, Nezavisni sindikat pomoraca putničkih brodova Hrvatske, Hrvatski sindikat pomoraca, Strukovni sindikat pomoraca Jadrolinije.

Pregovarački odbor Hrvatske udruge brodara Mare Nostrum predstavljaju gđa Ajka Ševerdija, g. Goran Frković.

U pregovorima će po prvi puta učestvovati predstavnici novoosnovanog Strukovnog sindikata pomoraca Jadrolinije, kojima želimo dobrodošlicu te se nadamo da ćemo zajedničkim snagama osigurati budućnost, poboljšana prava i status hrvatskih pomoraca u nacionalnoj plovidbi.


84. sjednica Skupštine

U Zagrebu je 18. svibnja  2018. održana 84. sjednica Skupštine, na kojoj je, uz članove Skupštine, kao gost prisustvovao g. Branimir Farkaš Belančić, načelnik u Ministarstvu mora, prometa i infrastrukture.

 Istaknute točke dnevnog reda bile su:

o   Stanje na brodarskom tržištu

o   Mogućnost statutarne certifikacije stranim klasifikacijskim društvima

o   Pregovori sa Sindikatom pomoraca Hrvatske

o   Imenovanje članova Radna skupina za unaprijeđenje konkurentnosti u nacionalnoj plovidbi

o   Imenovanje članova Jadrolinije u Odbor za pregovaranje sa sindikatom za pomorce na putničkim brodovima, trajektima i brzim brodovima u linijskom pomorskom prometu

o   Razrješenje predsjednika Udruge, predsjednika i zamjenika predsjednika Skupštine te  imenovanje predsjednika Udruge, predsjednika i zamjenika predsjednika Skupštine


3. Jadranska konferencija pomorskog prava, 24.-26. svibnja 2018

Preventing pollution from liners and ferries has become a priority for Croatian government and shipping companies involved in the passengers’ transport in the Adriatic.  Paper covers implementation of international legal instruments (like revised Annex VI of MARPOL with reduction of global sulphur limits in fuel oil on board ships by January 2020) and EU law (Regulation 2015/757 on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport). Their application to Croatian passenger fleet, analysis of various aspects of marine and air pollution prevention measures: control of air emissions by types of diesel fuel and possible implementation of scrubber equipment, potential introduction of LNG as fuel in passenger traffic, measures related to ships’ recycling and IHM certification, acceptable use of antifouling coating on passenger ships, cavitation sludge treatment and reception facilities in Croatian ports.


Programe and Registration Form can be obtained here:




Zaštita od piratstva na brodovima hrvatske državne pripadnosti

Dana 25. travnja 2018. godine sazvan je sastanak Stručnog povjerenstva u prostorijama Ministarstva mora, prometa i infrastrukture, na kojem su predstavnici Hrvatske udruge brodara Mare Nostrum, predsjednik Skupštine Udruge, g. Mario Pavić i v.d. ravnatelja, g. Sandro Vidas iznijeli prezentaciju o potrebama brodara za zaštitom od oružane pljačke i otmice u jurisdikciji obalnih država Zapadne Afrike.

Naši brodovi plove po cijelom svijetu, a u područjima gdje su piratski napadi učestali potrebna je određena zaštita putem unajmljenih osoba za naoružanu pratnju, kako bi zaštitili naše pomorce, brod i teret. Pravne osobe koje pružaju usluge ukrcaja osoba za naoružanu pratnju na brodove hrvatske državne pripadnosti moraju imati rješenje (dopusnicu) Ministarstva.