Luboil and bunkers supplies can be stemmed directly from the oil companies or via local or foreign brokers or traders. Payments should be made by transferring US dollars to the seller's accounts. Checks or local payments in cash are no longer acceptable under current regulations.
Bunker deliveries are handled as exports, i.e. customs documents are required. When placing orders owners should bear in mind that it takes 24/48 hours to clear delivery documents and that they should be submitted for approval by 15:00 hrs. It is recommended that fuel is booked with enough anticipation to ensure that the paper work is ready at the time of delivery. In all cases ships must be cleared inwards prior to lifting bunkers. Agents should be periodically consulted as to charges associated with the latter.
IF180 RME25 is usually available at all ports between San Lorenzo and Bahía Blanca, except Necochea. Other intermediate grades such as IF380, IF120, IF030, etc. can be found at Bahía Blanca. MDO DMB is only supplied from the Campana refinery for delivery between Rosario and La Plata. MGO is available at all ports, including Ushuaia. Apart from the oil companies, some traders have storage facilities at Puerto Madryn, Puerto Deseado and Punta Quilla.
Bunkering simultaneously with cargo operation may not always be possible due to safety requirements at certain terminals and inquiries on this particular issue should be made beforehand. It must also be taken into account that not all berths are suitable for taking bunkers and that it may be necessary for the vessel to shift berths or go to anchorage for the sole purpose of lifting fuels.
Some ports and private terminals have their own regulations which should be complied with, either concerning the Coast Guard or the Port Administrator of the terminal operators. A common requirement is that advance notive is given by the local agent or sub-agent who should also provide information regarding method of delivery, proper identification and sighting of permits.
Barging is available for deliveries at San Lorenzo, Rosario, Villa Constitución, San Nicolás, San Pedro, Campana, Zárate, Buenos Aires/Common Zone, La Plata/La Plata Roads, Bahia Blanca/Buoy 17 and Ushuaia. In the case of delivery by barge at the Zona Común (La Plata roads), a coastguard fireman must be appointed on the vessel's account. Otherwise deliveries are made by truck, provided the vessel is accessible. Ex pipe deliveries are only allowed when vessels are operating at the terminals, and subject to position of the manifolds and vessels being approved to lift bunkers by the terminals vetting departments.
Quantities actually delivered are always confirmed by local customs and these are used for invoicing purposes. As usual in the international bunker industry, sounding of the vessel's tanks is not acceptable so as to assess quantities delivered. Therefore, in order to avoid discrepancies, Chief engineers should inspect all seals and witness sounding of the bunkering barge tanks, prior to and after delivery. It is also advisable to take samples which should be witnessed, sealed, signed and exchanged by all parties concerned. Lubricants can be delivered in bulk or drums, always alongside berth. Orders should be placed well in advance in order to ensure product availability. It is worth noticing that lubes are often blended to meet demand and that transfer of the drums or bulk to the ports involved may take a few days because of the distances involved.