Subject Area:



When is my FOSFA Membership renewed?

Your membership is renewed when funds are received and cleared into FOSFA’s bank account.

This means your membership is not renewed on the day the instruction is sent to your bank, as there maybe a further three working days, or more, before funds reach FOSFA. This also means your membership is not renewed when you receive a transfer request form from your bank, as this document is an advice that the transfer is in progress.

What happens if I pay for Membership after 31 March 2015?

This will mean the discount deadline has been missed and you will be invoiced the full, 100%, no discount fee for membership in February 2016 for the ensuing.

So for example a 30% discounted Superintendent membership fee of £472.50 issued in February 2015 paid after 31 March 2015 would lead to the issuing of an invoice for the full, 100% no discount fee of £675.00 in February 2016.

Is a Membership Certificate included in the price of the Membership?

No, you will need to request a Membership Certificate separately from the Membership Secretary and there is a £10 administration charge for this. Alternative you may select Membership Certificate from your “My FOSFA” area located at the top right hand corner of the page. This service will then be included when the membership invoice is raised in February 2015 for 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

With the new FOSFA Website, can I pay for Membership online?

Yes, click on ‘Make a Payment’ in the top right hand corner of the website and enter all details requested, taking care to enter your invoice number and company name and the payment will be accepted by credit card. Please note if your payment is more than £750.00, then £10.00 will need to be added as an administrative charge.

Back to top


How to become an Arbitrator?

The FOSFA Rules say that an arbitrator must be a named representative of a company in membership of the Federation in one of the following categories Trading, Full Broker or Full Non-Trading.

An individual wanting to become a FOSFA arbitrator would therefore seek membership in most probably the Non-Trading category in his or her own name.

Becoming pro-active in arbitration cases will be a matter for the person to self-advertise and promote, although we would add the member name to the listings for official appointments – overseen by the relevant Section Chairman, but along with others in their turn. The individual would need to let their contacts in the trade know that they are taking cases on.

How are invoices processed in the Arbitration and Appeals procedure?

FOSFA follows a well-established process in issuing its awards, be those arbitration or appeal awards.  The process is recognised by international accountancy practices.

Awards themselves in every instance will declare as to who is due to pay costs in the dispute, those costs being the Federation’s fees for the service and the arbitrators or boards fees and any expenses.

FOSFA issues invoices in relation to those fees, costs and expenses after the award has been paid for (by one or other party, as above) and the awards themselves will reflect the judgement made as to allocation of costs.

With regard to international accounting standards there should not be more than one invoice relative to a set amount of funds.  Our invoicing mechanism addresses this matter by stating the name of the party who is ultimately to have paid the fees, for they will have in their possession that invoice.  However it may well be that the other party pays to take up the award and would naturally expect to receive the invoice and then if appropriate pass it on to the other party when they receive from that party the recovery of the fees awarded by the Tribunal.

It is a complicated process but as said established practice and recognised auditing bodies. Deposits will be taken into account.

Correspondence in the Arbitration and Appeal process.

All correspondence within the first tier arbitration process and at appeal must be transparent. Correspondence should be directed to the other party in the dispute, the tribunal, be that a sole arbitrator, two arbitrators, or an umpire id appointed, and with FOSFA in copy.

At appeal, correspondence must be directed to the other party and with FOSFA in copy. The Federation will forward any relevant correspondence to the board.

Does FOSFA offer Mediation Services?

Periodically the Council has considered whether mediation should be provided to the users of FOSFA Contracts. The continuing view is that mediation would be an additional step in a dispute resolution processes as opposed to a complimentary service. The Federation therefore offers arbitration processes, but not a mediation facility.

Back to top


Can a non-member purchase a contract?

Yes. They are a saleable item at £15.00 per contract and can be purchased through our website.

I would like to attend the Dinner how do I apply?

The FOSFA Annual Dinner is a members only event, however discretion can be exercised for non-members to attend the event. To book you must complete the online booking form. We advise that the Federation will not accept verbal bookings, or emails as a formal registration process.

Does FOSFA declare Non Business Days?

Many contract issuing bodies declare non business days, particularly around the Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter. FOSFA has maintained a policy not to declare non business days as there are many other religious events, declared nationally or locally as holidays or non working days. Furthermore bank half day closing ceased many years ago (being the origin of non business days (depositing of documents)).

In consequence non business days are those national and/or public holidays declared on a country by country basis. FOSFA’s offices are open on all working days and otherwise governed by UK published public holidays.

Back to top


How do I apply for Membership?

To apply for membership, you can either download the relevant application form from the website and complete/submit, or contact the Federation’s offices (membership@fosfa.org). You will need the support/endorsement of two members in the process. However, the Federation can assist in this area.

How long does it take?

The length of time it takes to process an application is dependent upon the category of membership being applied for.

It takes about 4-6 weeks to apply for superintendent membership, but longer for analyst membership; the reason being that applications for laboratories have to be approved by the Technical Committee before they can be passed to the Council. Analysts also have to demonstrate analytical competence by taking part in one of the Federation’s proficiency tests (of which there are two per year – one for oilseeds and one for oils/fats).

For all other categories of membership, the process is about one month once the application form has been completed and the necessary support obtained from two supporting companies (minimum one of which should be a trading member).

What is the difference between Full and Associate Membership for Trading or Broker categories?

Besides the difference in the subscription fee (see Price List), the other main variances between the two categories relate to –

Attending and voting at meetings (Full can attend and vote; Associate can only attend).

The right to serve on Committees (Full can, Associate cannot).

Be entitled to elect annually by postal ballot a Full Broker Member or one of their   representatives to serve on each of the Federation’s Section Committees (Full Brokers only).

Both Full and Associate members have the right to –

Nominate as many representatives as they wish, but only one shall be included in the basic subscription.

Be entitled to such discount as the Council shall, from time to time, determine on services provided by the Federation.

Be entitled to free use of the consultancy and advisory service (except where legal or specialised advice is provided and charged to the Federation), where costs shall be passed on, but under notice.

How do I get a Membership Certificate?

The Federation offers a service whereby membership certificates can be provided to those companies who require them and who have paid their membership fee. This is a subscription service and is renewable on a yearly basis (at a cost of £10.00).

We have received our subscription invoice and appear to have been charged for an additional representative. We only have one person listed so what is this charge for?

Each member is entitled to the listing of persons or ‘representatives’ from their companies to act as contacts in the FOSFA Member’s Directory. The general subscription rule is “one person in one section” free of charge. However, the number of persons allowed (free of charge) under the basic subscription is dependent upon the category of membership, for example –

Trading (A1) – 3 persons (or ‘representatives’)
Trading (A2) – 2 persons (or ‘representatives’)
All other categories – 1 person (or ‘representative’) 

For all additional named persons and sections thereafter, the charge is £40.00 per named representative and section.

Therefore, for those categories who are entitled to one free representative under their basic subscription, if you only have one person listed in one section (i.e. oilseeds), there will be no additional charge. If, however, you have one person listed in two sections (i.e. oilseeds and oils/fats), then there will be an additional fee to pay of £40.00. Additional charges (if applicable) will be reflected on your annual subscription invoice.

If I update my membership details using ‘My FOSFA’, how long after will the Members Directory be updated?

Both your company details (‘My FOSFA’) and the Members Directory will be updated on a weekly basis.

Can we use the FOSFA logo?

The Federation is happy for members to use the FOSFA logo, upon request, provided it is used in an appropriate way and only in relation to making a statement about being in membership.

Back to top


Can we use other Methods for analysing FOSFA commodities?

FOSFA contracts state that ‘The analyses shall be carried out in accordance with the methods laid down in the FOSFA International Standard Contractual Methods List’. This list is contained in the Technical Manual. If Analyst Members are asked to use other methods, they should inform their clients that using such methods would make the results non-contractual. If the client insists, then it is recommended that the analyst gets this instruction, in writing, before carrying out the analyses.

What does FOSFA say about loading crude vegetable oils into a ship with zinc tanks?

The FOSFA Qualifications and Operational Procedures for Ships Engaged in the Carriage of Oils and Fats in Bulk for Edible and Oleo-Chemical Use (commonly called the Carriage of Oils and Fats) state:

2.2 Tanks

2.2.1 Tanks, other than those of stainless steel, shall be coated, with the exception of mild steel tanks as specified in the FOSFA Operational Procedures. Only coatings suitable for food grade products and for the carriage of the oils or fats shall be used. Zinc silicate coated tanks shall not be used for crude oil unless the acid value is 1 or under.

An acid value of 1 means a maximum Free Fatty Acid value of 0.5% for soft oils, a max of 0.46% for palm oils, and a max value of 0.36% for coconut and palm kernel oils. If the FFA levels are above these values, then they should not be carried in zinc coated tanks.

Does FOSFA consider the product ‘Nytex 4700’ to be on the Banned List or not?

The FOSFA Banned List and the Acceptable List do not include any trade names. The reason for this is that the product manufacturers can change the components of these products without informing FOSFA. Thus, the best advice is to obtain a current list of components from the manufacturer or the MSDS and then investigate the status of each component with respect to the lists. FOSFA has agreed that the previous cargo status of a product is determined to be that of the most toxic component, no matter how minor a component it may be.

What are the criteria to determine the status of homogeneity in crude oils?

Oil cargoes being traded on FOSFA contracts must be sampled using ISO 5555. This International Standard includes a paragraph ( on ‘Homogenizing’ which describes a method for checking if the tank is uniform. It also states that:-

If layers of different composition are present, homogeneity can, in most cases, be obtained by heating as described in 5.5.

If heating is not permissible because of the nature of the fat, or if it is not necessary, or if heating has to be avoided for any other reason, the fat may be made homogeneous by blowing nitrogen through it.

By virtue of the methods described in ISO 5555, all oils may be either homogeneous or inhomogeneous at any particular time.

ISO 5555 also includes a paragraph on ‘Inhomogeneous fats’ that describes how to sample oils/fats which cannot be made homogeneous.   It is up to the superintendent to decide, at the time of sampling, if the oil in the tank is homogeneous or inhomogeneous and use the appropriate method.

We are about to passivate some stainless steel tanks while in dry dock. Is it necessary to use a FOSFA accredited superintendent to supervise this process?

The FOSFA Technical Committee has discussed paragraph 2.2.4 of the Carriage of Oils and Fats on several occasions. They are quite clear that most FOSFA Superintendent Members will not have experience concerning passivation procedures, chemicals, equipment, timings etc. Thus, 2.2.4 just says “a qualified independent surveyor”. It is the responsibility of the shipowner to determine if any particular superintendent or superintending company has the experience to carry out this operation.

Are there any Heating Instruction Guidelines available for ISO tanks?

There are no rules within FOSFA for the heating of ISO tanks. This may be because if an ISO tank cargo solidifies, it is not such a problem as it is in a ship’s tank. For most oils, they should be transported at about 5 degrees Centigrade above their melting point and discharged at about 10 degrees Centigrade above the slip melting point. Carriage above these temperatures is discouraged as higher temperatures will reduce quality.

Back to top

Go to CartClose

Association for international trading in oils, fats and oilseeds