P&I Club Urges Caution in Wake of Bad Fuel Episode

Thursday September 13, 2018

A protection and indemnity club has urged shipowners to take extra care ordering bunkers in the wake of the recent spate of incidences of off-spec fuel.

P&I Club Gard, which covers shipowners on third party risks, says that buyers should make sure that the ISO 8217 bunker fuel standard is referenced in the contract and that credit lines are not unduly shortened.

"There have been unconfirmed reports that bunker suppliers are altering their standard bunker supply forms by excluding reference to ISO 8217," Gard stated in its latest newsletter.

"[The same reports say suppliers are] shortening time bars from 30 to 15, or even 7 days [while some are] offering contaminated bunkers at a cheaper price," according to the newsletter.

To reduce the risk of taking on contaminated bunkers, the club offers the familar advice to buyers of knowing your counterparty and checking the small print in any contract.

Negotiation around the terms of the contract is also suggested particularly in the light of recent off-spec fuel events.

"In light of the current situation where suppliers are potentially facing expensive claims, they may be more forthcoming than previously to discuss the contractual terms," Gard said.