Guidelines for the shipment of vegetable and edible oil cargoes

Edible oil cargoes are one of the most common types to be involved in cargo claims
Edible oil cargoes are one of the most common types to be involved in cargo claims

The Swedish Club has published guidelines for the shipment of vegetable and edible oil cargoes in an attempt to assist operators in the of their vessels. According to the Club, vegetable and edible oil is one of the most common types of cargo involved in cargo claims.

Edible oil cargoes are commonly shipped under FOFSA contracts. Not only does FOSFA provide guidance regarding contracts covering goods being shipped, but also offers advice regarding cargo tank inspections and assessing tank suitability for carriage of products shipped under FOSFA contracts.

These are covered in the FOSFA ‘Combined Masters certificate’ and FOSFA ‘Certificate of compliance, cleanliness and suitability of vessel’s tanks’, respectively. FOSFA also issues a list of banned and acceptable previous cargoes in order to ensure that edible oil cargoes are not contaminated by unsuitable cargoes.

During loading and discharge
Before transfer (either during loading or discharge), high melting point and high viscosity oils and fats should be heated so that they are kept fluid and completely homogeneous.

Heating of the cargo should never exceed the maximum rate of 5°C in a 24-hour period, as set out by FOSFA. Rapid heating or overheating of the cargo can lead to heat damage/burning of the cargo directly adjacent to the heating coils. If steam heating coils are being used, the steam pressure should not exceed 150 kPa (1.5 bars) gauge to prevent localised over-heating.

Key points to note:
– Do not exceed the maximum allowed heating rate of 5 °C per 24-hour period.
– Comply with the charterers’ heating instructions. If these are unclear, seek clarification.
– Follow carriage and discharge temperatures as detailed by the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Association (FOSFA).
– Monitor the temperature of the cargo at upper, middle and lower levels through the cargo column at least once a day during the voyage to ensure compliance with heating rates and carriage temperatures.
– Recirculate the cargo if required, this may be particularly necessary for unrefined products.

Most voyages with vegetable/edible oil cargoes will be uneventful, but sometimes things go wrong. To minimise the risk of a claim of contamination resulting from the mishandling of the cargo, it is important that correct measures as described above are taken during loading, voyage and discharge.

Download the guidance: Edible Oil Cargoes Guidelines

Latest Tweets from the IIMS