Singapore: Revised guidelines for preventing pollution during bunkering operations



The UK Club would like to draw Members’ attention to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (“MPA”) Circular No. 06 of 2023 dated 22 March 2023 (“the Circular”) which the Club has received from the Club’s Correspondent, Spica Services (Singapore). This Circular which supersedes the MPA’s Marine Circular No. 13 of 2019, can be downloaded at the end of this article.

The high volume of vessel calls at Singapore port and the large volumes of bunkers stemmed at the port means that minor spill incidents during bunkering are a regular occurrence in the port’s waters. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (“MPA”) attributes such spills to operational lapses during bunkering. It has therefore issued the updated Circular to remind operators of the “Guidelines to be observed for bunkering operations within the port” (Annex A of the Circular)  and the “Bunkering checklist for bunker tanker and receiving vessels” (Annex B of the Circular).  

In paragraph 3 of the Circular, the MPA also reminds operators of Regulation 7 of the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Act which provides as follows:

Prohibition of discharge of oil and oily mixtures from ships

7(1) If any discharge of oil or oily mixture occurs from a Singapore ship into any part of the sea or from any ship into Singapore waters, the master, the owner and the agent of the ship shall each be guilty of an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $1 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.

Members are additionally reminded that the Master and crew (of the vessel) remain fully responsible for preventing any type of spills that may occur during vessel operations, including those resulting from any cause(s) not included within the Annex B checklist.

If Members have any questions arising from the Circular, please do not hesitate to reach out to your usual contact at the Club who will be pleased to assist you.

  • MPA Singapore: Port Marine Circular No.6 of 2023 120 KB


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  • Singapore-Revised guidelines - Chinese version 146 KB


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  • Singapore-Revised guidelines - Simplified Chinese version 124 KB


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Neil Beckwith

Correspondent Manager/Claims Director

Petar Modev

Head of Ship Inspections