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Antwerp-Bruges and Rotterdam Bunker system mandatory from 2026

Antwerp-Bruges and Rotterdam Bunker system mandatory from 2026

(Posted on 18/10/23)

From 1 January 2026, the use of a bunker measurement system for bunker vessels in the ports of Antwerp-Bruges and Rotterdam will be mandatory. From this point onwards, bunker vessels in the two ports must have a certified system that indicates the exact amount of fuel they are delivering to seagoing vessels.

With this measure, the port authorities aim to make the bunker market of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Rotterdam more transparent, efficient and reliable.

At the end of last year, the two ports announced that they would make it a requirement for bunker vessels to have a certified bunker measurement system on board. This follows independent research in Antwerp and Zeebrugge, and Rotterdam, which revealed recurring quantity issues in the bunker market.

In the past months, the ports consulted with various stakeholders to understand the needs and wishes. Together, the parties outlined a realistic roadmap to implement the bunker measurement system. In addition, the practicalities of introducing the system had to be thoroughly checked with regard to the differing legislative frameworks in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Currently, 40 out of 170 bunker vessels in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge are equipped with a bunker measurement system. The port authorities are therefore aware that this measure will have a major impact on the bunker market. By selecting 1 January 2026 as the start date, the various companies in the bunker chain have sufficient time to adapt to the new measure.

This future requirement was already included in the permits for bunker vessels in the port of Antwerp-Bruges. The permit for bunker transporters in Rotterdam is yet to be updated. At the trade conference ARACON, which will be held on 19 and 20 October, the two ports will give a status update.

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