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5 things to Consider when appointing a bunker quantity survey (BQS) company


By Henry Martin, Marine Digital Content Specialist 


With the ever-increasing volume of maritime legislation governing the laws of bunker quantity surveys, and multiple companies out there offering this service, it’s vitally important to know whether you are appointing the right one.

In this article we look at 5 factors you should consider before coming to appoint a bunker quantity surveyor.


  1. Selecting a BQS company as your reliable partner

From the outset you are looking for a partner which maintains high-standards of industry good-practice. The quality framework of your supplier should incorporate principles of:

  • integrity
  • independence, and
  • professionalism

You should also ensure they that the company complies with the BQS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), in addition to ISO17020 requirements.


Maritec - Hiring a reliable bunker quantity survey company can be complicated, so our guide is here to help you select the right one.
Maritec have carried out hundreds of bunker quantity surveys for vessels worldwide

The monitoring system of this quality framework in BQS execution is essential to protect the interests of the vessel, for example - protection from issues such as bunker quantity shortages and disputes.


  1. A surveyor’s competency is of paramount importance

Always use a professional and experienced surveyor, with a proven track record.

The role of surveyor is not simply confined to tank gauging and measurement. He plays a critical role as an independent third-party in preventing malpractices and monitoring the custody transfer of your bunker order.


  1. Familiarisation of Mass Flow Meter (MFM) system and data interpretation

Some people believe that the role of the surveyor is diminishing on Mass Flow Meter (MFM) bunker delivery – this is a myth.

The bunker quantity survey Mass Flow Meter (MFM) is not a plug and play system because, in reality, it cannot eliminate human error entirely. New tricks of the trade have been found on MFM deliveries. Your survey partner should be a MFM expert capable of advising you on whether your vessel or supplier may be in breach of MFM system integrity, raw data interpretation of key MFM parameters and/or metering profile abnormality.

Furthermore, a ship’s crew may not be familiar with MFM technology or be able to detect malpractices. Thus, appointing a BQS surveyor complements On the Job Training (OJT) and familiarization on MFM bunkering procedures for ship crew.


  1. Robust dispute resolution on bunker quantity shortage and quality issues

A bunker dispute may arise from either quality and/or quantity issues. Important traits of a reliable survey partner include whether they offer laboratory testing services as opposed to a conventional survey company. The supplier should have technical competency as well as expertise in providing comprehensive support to handle any bunker disputes that may arise.

A good way to review your survey partner’s experience in bunker dispute resolution would be to evaluate their activities with PNI clubs and/or the relevant Maritime Port of Authority.


  1. Evaluate value-add services provided by your preferred survey partner

The evaluation should go beyond survey cost justification and whether the bunker order is intact. A reliable survey partner should also play a proactive role in preventing potential bunker disputes and maintain an efficient bunker supply chain in your panel.As a reputable and professional BQS survey company, we use data analytics to provide the following services which add value for our customers:

  • performance tracking of your entire bunker supply chain (Bunker Suppliers, Barges, Vessel Chief Engineer and Surveyors)
  • monitoring bunker quality of your key bunker ports, off specs frequency and impact on engine performance.
  • Fuel energy and bunker prices monitoring tool of major bunkering ports.


For further information on our BQS service, please get in touch via our contact form here.

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