Technical Circular No :115/2017

Subject: Contamination of cargo from leaked bunker fuel oil.

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  • As published in Marine Insurance P&I Club news, dated 23 August 2017, in a recent incident, approx 200 MT of cargo from a General cargo ship got contaminated by bunker fuel oil leaked from an inadequately secured bunker tank access cover.
  • The vessel was a new build General cargo ship and it was the first time, that particular fuel oil tank was filled since departing from the shipyard.
  • On investigation, it was apparent that one of the bunker tank access lids had not been properly closed at the time of delivery as a large number of securing nuts were found to be slack after the incident.
  • In view above, it is suggested that prior to taking delivery from builders, the water/oil tight integrity of tanks must be tested and confirmed by Owners representatives.
  • The failure to ensure that bunker and ballast tank access lids in way of the cargo hold boundaries are tight before commencement of the voyage may render the vessel unseaworthy. In the event of a claim, the Owners ability to rely on customary Hague Visby Rule rights and immunities will be prejudiced.

Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.


  1. Nil


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

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