SINGAPORE: Oil Spills During Bunkering

October 2018

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Club correspondents SPICA of Singapore have provided an update about what happens in the event of an oil spillage during bunkering. Their summary is below:

Being one of the major bunker ports of the world, oil spills from bunker operations in Singapore will  unfortunately happen. Singapore is prepared and equipped. The cleanup in Singapore waters is coordinated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). They either use owned vessels or sub-contracted local oil spill response companies.

Often, the vessel’s reason for calling Singapore is bunkering only and therefore scheduled to last 12-24 hours, maximum. Dealing with an oil spill may therefore quickly disrupt the vessel’s departure.


In order to expedite the departure of the vessel after an oil spill, the following documents are required from the MPA.

  1. Master’s SOF.
  2. MPA standard form “Master’s authorization to appoint Solicitor”
  3. C/E ROB report.
  4. MPA standard Casualty Incident Report.
  5. MPA may require photo report to verify condition of affected shipside. If shipside is stained, shipside cleaning would be required before departure.


The Master should expect the MPA to board the vessel. In recent cases, we have also seen that the MPA is conducting the interview of the Master or C/E ashore. In such cases, we strongly advise that the local correspondent is alerted to render necessary assistance.

Letter of Undertaking (LOU)

It is also common practice that the MPA asks for a LOU to be issued before the vessel is allowed to depart. As Correspondent in Singapore for 30 years, we are familiar with the required wording and likely quantum. We can assist in providing and issuing it to the MPA.

We do ask you to take notice that the MPA is increasingly asking for the LOU to be both signed and stamped by Spica, and received in original form, before the vessel is released. This may increase the time taken to deliver the LOU slightly compared with the past.