Bunkering at sea

The bunkering of gas oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) at sea is prohibited, unless the safety of shipping is compromised, for example when the ship has run out of fuel to navigate. In that case, an exception may be made by the Coastguard.


Bunkering of gas oil or liquefied natural gas at sea is only permitted if the fuel runs out within five days. The following conditions apply:

  • Bunkering must take place within an anchorage. Anchorage ‘3 East’ is the designated anchorage for Rotterdam for LNG ships.
  • During bunkering, the operator must listen to the sector channel of the Port Authority and channel 16.
  • The wind force does not exceed wind force 5 Beaufort.
  • Bunkering must take place at least 6 nautical miles from the Dutch coast. Bunkering is not permitted within 6 nautical miles off the coast.
  • Wave height must not exceed 1 metre.
  • Bunkering is permitted only in daylight, with good visibility (minimum of 1 nautical mile).
  • The operator must use fender material, transfer material and hoses fitted with leakage trays.
  • If oil pollution and/or an incident occurs, the operator must immediately report this to the Coastguard and the Port Authority. The operator must stop bunkering.
  • If the operator is not able to control possible contamination, government materials will be used. This will be done in return for payment.
  • The owner must have a recognized P&I insurance policy.
  • It is only permitted to bunker gas oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • The operator must submit a request to the Coastguard. 
  • The operator must confirm by email to the Coastguard that these conditions are accepted, otherwise bunkering isn’t allowed.

Request for bunkering at sea

If all conditions are met, a request for bunkering at sea can be submitted. Fill in the bunkering on the North Sea application form and send this document ton ccc@kustwacht.nl.


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