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The Club’s IMO 2020: Bunker Claims Handling Guide for a new decade outlines some of the issues that may arise over compliance with the 0.50% global sulphur cap and the fuel oil carriage ban, as well as potential areas of dispute under time and voyage charterparties, and bunker supply contracts.

Explaining the outlook for bunker claims, the Club notes that: ‘Some types of claims/disputes arising out of IMO 2020 will be novel, but others may not be very different to those seen today, albeit the frequency, complexity and cost of those disputes are likely to change and will need to be considered on a case by case basis.’

Areas addressed in the guide include IMO 2020 enforcement, penalties and the use of FONARs; very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) characteristics, sampling and testing; and club cover.

The guide highlights that: ‘Bunker quality claims and/or related vessel main engine damage claims could become more frequent and complicated.

‘There is a clear tension between the provision of stable and suitable fuel (an issue for time charterers/bunker suppliers) and the role of on-board fuel management (an issue for ship owners/ship operators).

‘Detailed investigation of shipboard operation and vessel maintenance in the lead up to the reception of a fuel stem is all likely to be required.’

The full guide can be accessed here

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