Singapore to support electronic bunker delivery notes

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is set to launch its new digital bunkering initiative on 1st November and become the first port in the world to support electronic bunker delivery notes (e-BDN).

The maritime industry typically uses physical bunker delivery notes at present, a standard document required by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) that contains information on fuel oil delivery.

During the 80th Marine Environment Protection Committee session, the IMO formally approved the use of electronic bunker delivery notes (e-BDNs). Hardcopy BDNs or e-BDNs are valid provided they meet the relevant requirements of MARPOL Annex VI.

MPA says it is launching its digital bunkering initiative to boost efficiency and transparency during the bunkering process in Singapore. Over 100 trials have been conducted since January 2023, involving more than 20 companies in the country’s bunkering ecosystem, as the details of the new service have been developed.

Feedback from users will continue to be gathered to improve related systems as Singapore presses ahead with plans to make digital bunkering a mandatory requirement by the end of 2024. MPA says it will also continue to explore other potential enhancements to the process over that time, including automating the data flow from Mass Flow Meters.

Licensed bunker suppliers, ship owners, operators and crew are being encouraged to utilise mobile and cloud systems approved by MPA to complete and issue digital bunkering documents, to ensure conformance to standards and various cybersecurity, risk management and regulatory reporting requirements.

The technologies available can automatically relay bunkering-related information required by MPA, streamlining workflows and eliminating the need for physical transfer of bunker documents between vessels.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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