Fuel Quality Testing

Fuel Quality Testing

Fuel Quality Testing lets ship operators enjoy peace of mind knowing the delivered bunker quality before use. This service also assists them in managing the risk of potential damage to machinery and the consequential threat to the safety of crew and cargo.


As well as comparing results against client’s fuel purchasing specification, checks can also be made for compliance with IMO and EU regulatory requirements. Please also refer to trouble-shooting and investigative analysis for VPS’ extended analytical services.

Our Approach and Process

As the industry’s pioneer in marine fuel analysis, VPS introduced the concept of testing bunker purchases in 1981, at a time when deteriorating bunker quality and escalating fuel prices were giving ship operators massive problems. Today, bunker quality has not improved and must be continuously monitored to ensure it meets specifications due to increased secondary refining, blending activities as well as potential contamination from sources within the supply chain. In addition, stricter environmental regulations and the introduction of more Emission Control Areas (ECA) have necessitated increased use of low sulphur fuels and also distillates which are not without quality issues.

The VPS FQT service chain involves:

  • Collection of a representative fuel sample

    A representative sample is collected at the vessel’s fuel manifold. The importance of proper sampling cannot be over-emphasised. Analysis results are only as good as the samples submitted. The VPS 2-part Instruction Manual provides full information on procedures and documentation requirements.

  • Transportation of the fuel sample

    Bunker fuel samples should be submitted to the laboratory for testing as soon as possible after the bunkering operation is completed.

    VPS’s Control Tower Integrated System (CTIS) online shipping tool is now available to clients. This is designed to offer booking of bunker fuel sample collection, generate the required shipping documents and to track the delivery status of the submitted bunker sample. To access CTIS, VPS customers should visit the website at http://services.v-p-s.com/ctis/.

    A PDF copy of the CTIS flyer is attached for your reference. For assistance, clients can email ctis_admin@v-p-s.com

    In situations where there is limited access to the internet, customers can continue to refer to the VPS Air Courier Directory for contact details of the air courier companies for pickups.

  • Laboratory testing of the fuel sample

    Upon arrival at any of the VPS laboratories, fuel analysis is performed according to the client’s fuel purchasing specification, usually to ISO 8217 2005 or ISO-8217:2010 requirements. The full battery of tests is normally completed within 24 hours. Click here for ISO 8217: 2010 specifications.

  • Technical advisory and release of the FQT results

    Test results are evaluated by our technical experts who will determine if the fuel has met the required standards and provide you with fuel handling advice for optimal operational performance. The FQT report is available in colour-coded pdf format in two parts comprising specification comparison and an operational trend. If there are urgent issues on the quality of your fuel VPS will normally contact you personally.


The following options are provided for our FQT customers

  • FQT data is also available to clients through VPS’ online password-protected Data Access service. Historical data of client’s samples tested within the last two years can be retrieved.
  • Value-added services such as:

    Bunker Alerts

    VPS continuously monitors global fuel quality and fuel oil trends in various ports. It is therefore possible for VPS to issue Bunker Alerts on potentially problematic fuels in certain areas. The Bunker Alerts do not necessarily reflect the overall fuel quality supplied in the subject port but are intended to increase awareness, especially among those of our customers that has bunkered (or intend to do so) in the subject port.

    Bunker Master

    BunkerMaster is an information and calculation platform for VPS’ customers. It contains useful fuel-related information, electronic forms, viscosity calculations and change-over procedures/calculations.

    Case Histories

    VPS has a library of case histories iillustrating a variety of fuel-related engine problems and how these can be solved with our fuel management services. The case histories are available to our customers.

  • A complete range of inter-related services on fuel management


Our Experience

The VPS FQT programme has a membership base of 900 companies, with over 10,000 vessels registered. As the fuel testing market leader it also has the largest data base of its kind in the world.

You too can benefit from our international network of fuel experts and laboratories, which guarantees prompt and reliable fuel management services across all time zones, 24 hours a day.