MFMs are a more accurate means of measuring bunker deliveries. Image Credit: Minerva Bunkering / Emerson
The plan to make the use of mass flow meters (MFMS) mandatory for bunkering at the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges remains essentially unchanged following a feedback period.
As Ship & Bunker reported earlier this month, the two port authorities plan to make MFMs mandatory for bunker barges over 300 GT in size from the start of 2026. The rule will apply to both conventional bunker and biofuel blend deliveries.
The authorities held a meeting with local stakeholders on October 4 to set out their plans and sought feedback up to October 10.
The market has largely welcomed the decision as a necessary step to reduce the problem of quantity disputes in Northwest Europe.
At the ARACON industry event in Rotterdam on Thursday, Pieter Bruins Slot of the Port of Rotterdam and Laurens De Buck from the Port of Antwerp-Bruges presented the final plan.
The substance of what was presented at the conference was little changed from what was presented to local stakeholders earlier in the month, three sources who saw the presentation told Ship & Bunker. The plan remains to introduce the mandate in 2026 without any subsidy to cover the cost of the systems, and to use the existing licensing system for bunker barge operators to regulate their use.
The market has largely welcomed the decision as a necessary step to reduce the problem of quantity disputes in Northwest Europe, as Singapore was able to do when it introduced MFMs from 2017.
But some criticism has focused on whether the licensing and system and regulatory environment at Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges will be robust enough to avoid meters being tampered with and quantity disputes continuing despite the new systems being used.