Bunker sampling guidelines for Port State Control


Published: 3 June 2021

Credit to: Igor Kardasov / Shutterstock.com

Following the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee session in November 2020, new amendments were adopted to MARPOL Annex VI.

These amendments which will come into force on 1 April 2022, outline methods for sampling from fuel oil tanks to validate the sulphur content of the fuel onboard.

Members are reminded to be aware and prepared for Port State Control inspectors who will potentially draw samples from all the ship's fuel tanks and not only from the service tank(s) in order to verify that the fuel oil meets the sulphur content limit (0.50%).

Additionally, members are also reminded that until the amendments come into force, IMO has also issued a circular for the Port State Control authorities to commence drawing on board samples during this transitional period.

Skuld also remind members of the importance of fuel to comply with the statutory sulphur limit and that the fuel oil must meet the quality stipulated in regulation 18 of MARPOL Annex VI, for instance by ensuring that fuel oil meets the parameters of ISO standard 8217:2017.

Members may contact Skuld's Loss Prevention department for any clarification on this matter.

The following IMO guidelines are enclosed:

IMO circular MEPC.1/889 - IMO Guidelines for onboard sampling of fuel oil intended to be used or carried for use onboard a ship.

MEPC.1/Circ.882 - Early Application of the Verification Procedures for a MARPOL ANNEX VI Fuel Oil Sample.