Frequent Questions

EPA has stated that RFG imports must be tested and certified before off-loading a marine vessel. Must this certification occur while the vessel is docked, or may it occur while the vessel is at anchor? If a vessel is certified while at anchor, may the gas

Imported gasoline normally must be certified while the gasoline is on board the marine vessel used to transport the gasoline to the United States, and the certification sampling must be performed subsequent to the vessel's arrival in the port where the gasoline will be off-loaded. This sampling may not be performed while the vessel is at the foreign loading port or at sea. Thus, certification sampling could be performed while the vessel is at anchor in the U.S. port of entry and before the vessel actually docks at the import terminal. In the case of harbors that may have more than one port designation for U.S. Customs purposes (e.g., the New York harbor area), only a single certification is necessary even if the gasoline is off-loaded at terminals located in more than one U.S. Customs "port" within that same harbor. If the ship sails from one U.S. port to another that is not part of the same harbor (e.g., from Baltimore to New York), separate certifications are necessary for the gasoline off-loaded in each port.

In addition, when the gasoline on a vessel has been fully certified (each vessel compartment is certified separately, or the homogeneity of the gasoline in the vessel's compartments is established and the vessel's gasoline is certified using a composite sample protocol), the gasoline may be transferred to shore tanks using smaller vessels or barges (lightered) as fully certified RFG or conventional gasoline. These lightering transfers may be to terminals located in any harbor, and are not restricted to terminals located in the harbor where the ship is anchored. For example, certified RFG could be transferred from a ship anchored in New York harbor to a lightering vessel and transported to Albany, New York or Providence, Rhode Island without separately certifying the gasoline upon arrival in Albany or Providence. In this lightering situation transfers to a lightering vessel must meet the product transfer document requirements.(12/5/94)

This question and answer is posted at The original was posted in the Q&A posted on 12/5/94 which can found at" See Question ID 3857 for RFG (Taken from the first question on
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