The IMO could become involved in bunker licensing. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) should regulate bunker suppliers as a means of improving the industry's standards, according to tanker owner association Intertanko.
"Bunker suppliers should be licensed by the coastal states, and it has to be under MARPOL Annex VI as a mandatory licensing scheme," Gil-Yong Han, a senior manager at Intertanko, said at SIBCON Wednesday.
The idea of imposing bunker licensing at the global level has met some resistance at the IMO.
"We hope that we can make incremental improvements to the regulatory regime," he said.
He cited the bunker contamination spread out of Houston in 2018 as a failure of industry standards, saying similar quality problems tend to come up every three to five years.
"We say that there is a lot more to be done in this case," he said.
"I think it's fair to say that at present the shipping industry wants a robust control mechanism on the supply chain, as we are regulated by IMO and member governments."