IBIA intervenes at IMO to prevent ban on blending afloat

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The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has intervened at the International Maritime Organisation to amend a controversial proposal to ban the blending of oil cargoes on board ships.

At the 59th session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London from July 13-17, there was strong support for a proposal that would have prohibited any onboard in-tank blending while ships are ‘at sea’. Such a ban would have had a potentially devastating effect on the routine, legitimate operations of many bunker suppliers. But a timely intervention by IBIA delegate and board member Trevor Harrison helped swing the MEPC narrowly in favour of an alternative wording.

Trevor Harrison said: “Following IBIA’s intervention, the proposal has been changed to include the wording ‘during the sea voyage’, rather than ‘at sea’. This means that, although blending whilst under way will be outlawed, the long-established practice of blending whilst moored or alongside a stationary receiving vessel will be allowed to continue.”

IBIA routinely monitors developments at IMO and, where appropriate, submits papers to various IMO committees on matters of concern to the bunkering industry. IBIA’s delegates also attend relevant IMO committees and working groups, participating and intervening wherever appropriate.