SC 23-016

Bunker:  Petroleum products loaded aboard “taken on” a vessel for consumption by that vessel.  Bunkers are not considered cargo for customs purposes.

If a vessel master loads “takes on” bunkers in the New Orleans Tri-Port and then decides to return the product to the same vendor, at the same location where the bunkers were loaded, the procedures below should be followed.  Traditionally vessel bunkers are returned because they are determined to be “off-spec.”

Reference: 19 CFR §10.1(a)(b) & (c) 

Notification:  Prior to the vessel returning to port to remove the bunkers, the Port Marine Division should be notified containing the information below on company letterhead.

I, ______________________, declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief the articles herein specified were exported from the United States, from the port of ________________ on or about ________________, 20____,  and that they are returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means.

Provide a description of the product (Marine Gas Oil, Marine Diesel Oil, Marine Fuel Oil, Intermediate Fuel Oil, Heavy Fuel Oil, etc.), the quantity and value.

Provide the reason for the vessel bunkers being returned.

Provide the name of the vendor and the location (dock, terminal, pier, anchorage) where the vessel bunkers were loaded and subsequently will be returned.  Vessel bunkers must be returned to the same location.

There is no requirement to “manifest” vessel bunkers.

Submit the letter to the New Orleans Marine Division via email at:

Direct questions about this trade notice to Chief Denise Emmer at or office telephone (504) 670-2052.