At the end of last year, the two ports announced that they would make it a requirement for bunker vessels to have a certified bunker measurement system on board. This follows independent research in Antwerp and Zeebrugge, and Rotterdam, which revealed recurring quantity issues in the bunker market.

In the past months, the ports consulted with various stakeholders to understand the needs and wishes. Together, the parties outlined a realistic roadmap to implement the bunker measurement system. In addition, the practicalities of introducing the system had to be thoroughly checked with regard to the differing legislative frameworks in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Currently, 40 out of 170 bunker vessels in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge are equipped with a bunker measurement system. The port authorities are therefore aware that this measure will have a major impact on the bunker market. By selecting 1 January 2026 as the start date, the various companies in the bunker chain have sufficient time to adapt to the new measure. This future requirement was already included in the permits for bunker vessels in the port of Antwerp-Bruges. The permit for bunker transporters in Rotterdam is yet to be updated.

At the trade conference ARACON, which will be held on 19 and 20 October, the two ports will give a status update.