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Avoiding bunker fuel quantity and quality claims- Guideline for ship

Bunkering operation record: Bunker fuel quantity and quality claims can be minimised if correct procedures are followed. It is important to segregate new bunkers from pre-existing fuel. Loading into empty tanks can resolve incompatibility problems, make measurements easier and reduce the chance of spills.

Bunkering operation

Before delivery, vessel's bunker tanks should be measured. Densities and correct petroleum tables should be used to convert observed volumes to volumes at standard temperature.

All findings should be recorded. A bunker loading plan comprising all tank measurements should be prepared before the delivery and expected tank contents on completion of taking bunkers. Always check that the bunker delivery note shows the type of fuel and quantity intended for delivery is as expected.

Bunker delivery note or sample labels should not be signed before the delivery. The barge should be attended to in the company of the barge master, who should measure and record the contents of all the cargo tanks, including any not designated for your delivery. The temperature of the fuel should be taken in all the tanks.

Signs of foam on the fuel surface or excessive bubbles on the sounding tape should be identified. This may indicate that air has been blown into the fuel. Crewmembers should check that the barge calibration tables have an official certification stamp. If not, a letter of protest should be issued. If the crew is not convinced that the tables are correct, an independent surveyor should be called immediately. Ships bunkering operation involved numerous hazards. Prudent engineer shall keep proper record of all bunkering events for future reference. Below guidelines are common for cargo ships.The Bunker Delivery Note shall be retained, by Chief engineer, onboard for three years after the bunkering.The Chief Engineer shall enter the bunkering time, type of FO, volume of FO and sulphur content, in the engine logbook, and also in the oil record book .

Remarks : If bunkering in U.S.A., the record of the onboard meeting / training, testing of equipment and Pre-transfer Conference shall be entered in the deck logbook as follows;

Conducted the training for all crew members who assist in the bunkering operation. Carried out the inspection of oil transfer equipment and systems according to 33 CFR 156.170 and found them in good order. Pre-transfer Conference took place with the person in charge of the bunker barge / supplier.

(3) The Chief Engineer shall keep the following documents on board for one year as the record of practice of bunkering work :

A copy of the telex (or facsimile) of the bunkering notice from the Fuel Section (or agent).

The Bunkering plan prepared by the vessel.

Tank sounding records taken during bunkering and data for refueling volume calculation (A memo used on the spot may be accepted as it is).

The Check List for Bunkering operation which has been filled in.

The list of personnel who have been engaged in the FO transferring operation.

The Check List for open / closed condition of refueling-related valves which has been filled in.

The confirmation letters for oil leakage prevention (when refueled in Japan).

The Declaration of Inspection (when refueled in the U.S.).

Pre-transfer OSRO Notification (when refueled in California, U.S.)

If confirmation letters of inspection for oil leakage prevention or similar documents are exchanged, the copy of such documents (when refueled in countries other than Japan and the U.S.).

The bunker receipt duplicate.

Chief Engineers reports on receiving FO or on other abnormalities and a copy of the Company instruction (if any).

A copy of the protest letter to a bunker shortage (if any).

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