FOBAS Alert: Off Specification Fuels From Balboa, Panama

Thursday January 20, 2022

In recent weeks, FOBAS has tested a number of MGO fuel samples from Balboa, Panama, which showed sulfur levels above 0.11%m/m. These fuels all had BDN stating sulfur levels below 0.10%m/m and it is assumed that these fuels were purchased for use in ECA-SOx.

Although the results were marginally high at 0.12%m/m, this is still outside the allowed test tolerance range of the 0.10%m/m limit, which stands out to be 0.11% m/m as maximum.

We would recommend any vessels bunkering in this area to make sure they are clear with fuel supplier the requirements of the fuel in terms of sulfur levels and to ensure that the BDN and designated MARPOL Annex VI sample are kept safely onboard, in case they are required by any authority to check sulfur compliance.

Any vessel with particular concerns or dealing with an off-spec result can speak to FOBAS for further guidance and may also contact the relevant authorities including vessels Flag State and relevant port state for official guidance.

If you require any further information about this Bulletin, please contact us at or speak to one of our consultants on +44 (0)330 414 1000 (Southampton UK), +44 (0)1642 440991 Redcar (UK), +65 3163 0888 (Singapore), +30 211 990 7732 (Greece). For anything urgent, please contact us via our out of office number, +44 (0)1642 425660.