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UK P&I - How to Reduce Bunker Claims

UK P&I - How to Reduce Bunker Claims

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Published by offshore60
UK P&I - How to Reduce Bunker Claims
UK P&I - How to Reduce Bunker Claims

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Published by: offshore60 on Feb 26, 2014
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How to reduce bunker claimsand associated costs
The resolution of fuel quantity and qualitydisputes will rely on evidence provided 
How to reduce the risk of bunkerquantity and quality claims andminimise associated costs
Fuel quantity and quality disputes are notoriously difficultto resolve and a satisfactory outcome will rely heavily onevidence provided by a ship’s crew. Detailed and correctdocumentation is vital. The following steps should befollowed to help prevent problems and provide essentialevidence if a claim arises.
Quantity claims usually arise at the time of delivery and can beminimised if correct procedures are followed. The followingchecks and records must be made at the time of the delivery.
NB: If a shortage is not identified and the correct actions not taken at the time of delivery it would become almost impossible to recover any losses after the event.
Pre-delivery checks
Always try to segregate new bunkers from pre-existing fuel.Loading into empty tanks will avoid incompatibility problems,make measurements easier, reduce the chance of spills and, ifthe new fuel has a quality defect, it will not contaminate otherfuel.
Before the delivery measure all ship’s bunker tanks and recordsoundings or ullages and temperatures. Convert linearmeasurements to volumes using the tank calibration tables andtake into account vessel trim and list. Use densities and correctpetroleum tables to convert observed volumes to volumes atstandard temperature and weight factor to determine metrictonnes. Record all your findings.
Prepare a bunker loading plan comprising all tankmeasurements before the delivery and expected tank contentson completion of taking bunkers.
Check that the bunker delivery note shows the type of fuel andquantity intended for delivery is according to that expected. Donot sign the bunker delivery note or sample labels before thedelivery.
Attend on the barge in the company of the barge master tomeasure and record the contents of all the cargo tanks,including any not designated for your delivery. Take thetemperatures of the fuel in all the tanks. Look for any signs offoam on the surface of the fuel or excessive bubbles on the
sounding tape. This may indicate that air has been blown intothe fuel. This is sometimes referred to as ‘cappuccino’.Measurements under these conditions, tend to overstate thevolume in the tanks. If excessive foaming is observed issue aletter of protest and consider calling an independent surveyor toevaluate the situation. Once the bunker transfer is under way itbecomes impossible to resolve this issue.
Check the barge calibration tables have an official certificationstamp. If not, issue a letter of protest. Again, if you are notconvinced that the tables are correct consider calling anindependent surveyor.
Use the barge calibration tables to convert linear measurementsto volumes at observed temperature, taking into account anytrim or list of the barge.
Ensure that the barge master signs your record of barge tankcontents and temperatures.
Agree with the barge master that stripping of barge tanks willonly be carried out at the end of the delivery as this process canintroduce excessive air into the fuel and make measurementsunreliable.
Agree with the barge master that air-blowing of line content willonly be carried out at the instructions of the chief engineer atthe end of the delivery as this process can also introduceexcessive air into the fuel and make measurements unreliableand also prevent spill/over-flow.
Agree with the barge master where and how his deliverysamples will be taken. Ideally this should be by continuous dripat the ship’s receiving manifold, however, continuous drip at thebarge discharge manifold should also be acceptable providingthe process can be observed by a member of the ship’s crew.If the barge master does not intend to take reliable continuousdrip samples then issue a letter of protest and inform him thatyou will take delivery of samples he may issue later but you willrecord that they were not taken properly.
If you are not content with the barge sampling procedure thenensure that you take a continuous drip sample at the ship’sreceiving manifold and invite the barge master to witness thisprocess and sub division and labelling of samples oncompletion of the delivery.
Carry out all pre-delivery checks and complete standard formsin accordance with the ship’s management system and localregulations.
Checks during the delivery
Ensure continuous drip sampling is performed throughout

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