FOSFA qualifications and operational procedures for ISO tank containers carrying animal, marine and vegetable oils and fats.


In this document ISO tank containers are defined as those tank containers for liquids which meet the requirements of ISO 1496-3: 1995.


The tank container is a freight container which includes two basic elements, the tank and the framework. These Qualifications and Operational Procedures relate only to the first element, the tank.


  1. Tank container interiors to be of stainless steel only.
  2. Tank containers not to have top discharge only, top and bottom discharge and bottom discharge only are acceptable.
  3. Tank containers to be heated by external coils only.
  4. If tank containers are fitted with baffles, each semi-compartment to be fitted with a manhole to allow proper cleaning and inspection.

Operational Procedures to be Followed by Owner/Operator

  1. Tank containers to be cleaned at a cleaning depot to a food grade standard.
  2. The previous cargo to be declared to the cleaning depot and to a recognized superintendent (appointed and approved by the tank owner/operator) together with supporting documentary evidence as necessary to the satisfaction of the superintendent.
  3. The immediate previous cargo in an ISO tank container must have been a product on the FOSFA List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes or not on the FOSFA List of Banned Immediate Previous Cargoes, whichever is contracted for, in force at the date of the Bill of Lading.
  4. Tank containers which have been cleaned and passivated under the supervision of a qualified independent surveyor shall be considered as new buildings. Cargoes carried prior to the date of such passivation shall not be considered as relevant. The tank owner is required to provide the independent certification of such procedures and to declare the immediate previous cargo carried.
  5. All discharge valves and pressure relief valves to be removed, dismantled, cleaned and examined. All to be refitted with new gaskets including manlid seal food grade gaskets.
  6. Normal basic cleaning. Initial washing procedure should consist of steaming tank interior for approximately 10 minutes followed by low caustic detergent spin over whole of tank interior followed by at least 10 minutes rinsing of tank (a sanitizing solution can be used if necessary). In the absence of a clearly defined and commonly available list of approved food grade cleaning products, the nominated cleaning station should use the available proprietary brand of low caustic cleaning product.
  7. Routine passivation under supervision of a qualified independent surveyor. Initial washing procedure as in 6. above. Then recirculation of 15/20% solution of nitric acid through tank cleaning machine to uniformly wash all internal tank surfaces followed by thorough fresh water rinsing to remove all traces of nitric acid. Final wash and dry.
  8. After cleaning the internal surfaces to be inspected and approved by the recognized superintendent approved by the tank owner/operator with specific attention being paid to the valve sump, temperature probe and dished end seams. Where routine passivation has been carried out as in 7. above, additionally specific inspection to be made by the qualified independent surveyor.
  9. After the reassembly and approval of the tank container interior, the tank shall be cleaned by means of hot water spinners or sterilised with steam and dried. The tank container shall then be sealed by recognized superintendent approved by the owner/operator and if he has been advised of the product to be loaded, the tank may be certified as suitable for the carriage of the named product. The cleanliness certificate issued shall be deemed as valid for up to 14 days from date of issue. Thereafter tank to be re-inspected and if found unsatisfactory, re-cleaned and a new certificate issued prior to loading.
  10. On arrival at the loading point, seals shall be checked to ensure that they are intact. A certificate by or on behalf of the owner/operator confirming that all the above specified conditions have been met shall be presented at the loading point, a copy of which shall be included with the loading/shipping documents.
  11. Transfer from one ISO tank container to another is not allowed unless to one which meets these Qualifications and Operational Procedures and which carries a certificate by or on behalf of the owner/operator confirming that the specified conditions of cleanlinessand inspection have been met.

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