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  • Introduction.
  • PORLA's Role in Quality Assurance.
  • Responsibilities of the Various Parties in the Export Chain.
  • Responsibilities of the Producer/Supplier.
  • Responsibilities of the Traders / Exporters.
  • Responsibilities of the Bulking Installation Operators.
  • Responsibilities of the Independent Chemist.
  • Responsibilities of PORLA Port Stations

    Enforcement of Quality Control Practices.
  • Regulation and Monitoring
  • Monitoring of the Professional Services.
  • Inspection of Bulking Installations at the ports.
  • Inspection of Laboratories.

    Implementation of Quality Control Programme
  • Palm Oil Surveying Course
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Surveyors Examination.
  • Recommended Practices for Surveying Palm Oil Products
  • Palm Oil Laboratory Accreditation.
  • Malaysian Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (SAMM)

    Further Information.



    The objective of this document is to provide the guidelines and checklist for promoting quality awareness among the exporters or suppliers of Malaysian palm oil. It will outline all the necessary actions and precautions to be taken in assuring that the quality of palm oil products meets the quality specifications specified in their contract of sales at the point of export.

    Quality assurance can be defined as `controlling the process to produce a product free of defects'. Instead of relying entirely on inspection to assure product quality by rejecting defects, inspection is focused on the process itself that can provide feedback so that the process can be improved and perfected, thereby ensuring quality product.

    The role of Palm Oil Registration and Licensing Authority (PORLA) is to conduct inspection programmes on the quality of oil palm products at their strategic points of processing and of the trade including at ports of export to ensure the users that only oil palm products with the appropriate quality delivered. PORLA undertakes quality control activities starting from the stage of planting materials right to the final point of export of palm oil products. The quality of palm oil products may suffer most damage at certain stages of processing, handling and transportation, the inspection programmes are designed in such a way that PORLA's Inspectors are present to conduct quality inspections at the critical point of processing, handling and transportation.



    PORLA's function in promoting and regulating quality practices in the palm oil industry is stipulated in its Act :--

    • to regulate and improve the manner of storing and shipping of oil palm products;

    • to promote efficient handling of oil palm products;

    • to promote measures toward attaining a high quality for oil palm products including the laying down of standards and the establishment of an efficient grading system; and

    • generally to do everything for the betterment and proper conduct of the palm oil industry.

    This Act also empowers PORLA to discharge the above function through the following means:--

    • registration and licensing of persons in respect of all activities within the scope of functions of the Authority;
    • provide standard practices to be observed or avoided in the palm oil industry; and
    • specify and define the standards and grades of oil palm product and make provisions for giving effect to such standards and grades, including provisions for or relating to labelling; and prescribe records to be kept and returns to be submitted by licensees.

    The Palm Oil Industry (Licensing) Regulations (Amendments) 1984 provides that any persons who move, sell, purchase, broker, export, import, store, survey or test any oil palm product must be licensed. . In issuing the license, PORLA imposes conditions and restrictions to regulate the trade and to promote quality practices to ensure the products or services rendered is of the highest quality.



    Palm oil proceeds through a series of parties namely producers or suppliers, traders and exporters before reaching the point of export. These parties may either be separate individuals or one individual who perform all the roles or part of it. Supplementing the export chain is the service sector namely bulk installation operators, independent surveyors and independent chemist. While installations provide bulking, handling and storage facilities at the export point; independent surveyor and chemist provide independent inspection and certification of product to determine the quantity, quality, loading superintendent and confirmation required in a commercial transaction.

    The parties in the chain of export are legally bound to perform their contractual commitment to one another unequivocally and efficiently. It is PORLA's policy to ensure that the palm oil products for export meet the buyer's requirements and reasonable expectations. If the chain of obligations and responsibilities are broken or abused by the parties concerned, it will lead to losses, disputes, arbitration or litigation and ultimately causes damage to the smooth trading of oil palm products.



    Producers adopt proper harvesting practices so that only ripe palm fruits are harvested and delivered to the palm oil mills. The mills will inspect the quality of the raw materials (Fresh Fruit Bunch) using the " PORLA's Fresh Fruit Bunch Grading Manual" The fruits are processed with good care and efficienly so as not to damage the quality of oil during the process of extraction.

    It is the responsibility of the producer/supplier to ensure :--

    • that the buyers' quality specifications are determined and confirmed before production begins.
    • that the refining process employed will achieve the desired contracted specifications of the buyer.
    • that the product has been laboratory tested and confirmed to conform to the contractual specifications for which it was intended.
    • that the product is properly stored in such a manner that the product quality is maintained before being transferred or transported to the bulking installations at the port for export.
    • that the movement, transport and handling of the product to the bulking installation at the port for export are carried out in a manner that will ensure that the product quality is maintained.



    From the mills, the palm oil products are channeled to the refiners, kernel crushers or oleochemical plants. Strict quality control programmes are implemented to ensure that the quality is maintained in their processing of the palm oil products.

    It is the responsibility of the Trader/Exporter to ensure :--

    • that all contracts of sales or purchases are registered with PORLA by telex or telegram not later than 4.00 p.m. a day after the date of transaction; followed by sending a copy of the contract to be received by PORLA not later than 30 days from the date of contract.

    • that records of stock, sale and purchase of palm oil are properly maintained and kept for verification by PORLA Palm Oil Inspectors.

    • that a monthly statement of stock, sale and purchase of palm oil is sent to PORLA not later than the seventh day of the following month.

    • that the product supplied by the producer is delivered to the bulking installation at the port at least 24 hours before shipment takes place.

    • that the product has been laboratory tested and certified by the supplier to be conforming to the buyers' specifications.

    • that the palm oil is free from any contamination and the quality conforms to the standard that is acceptable to PORLA.

    • that the product has been laboratory tested and certified by an independent chemist to be conforming to the buyer specifications as specified in the sales contract at least 24 hours before shipment.

    • that the exporter declares in the Customs Declaration (CD 2) prescribed by PORLA that the quality of palm oil to be exported conforms to the quality specifications specified in the contract of sale with the buyer.

    • that a sample of the palm oil is send to PORLA when required, for quality determination and verification.


    Bulking installation ( tank farm) operator is licensed exclusively for storing and facilitating bulk handling. It is the responsibility of the bulking installation operator to ensure :--

    • that the palm oil received at the installation by lorry tankers are securely sealed. In the case of pipeline transfer, the pipeline is clean, dry and free from any previous cargo before it was being used to transfer the oil to the installation at the port.

    • that the tank used for the storage of palm oil is dry, clean, and free from any previous cargo before it was being used to store palm oil.

    • that the Storage and Handling Practice as recommended by Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM) are always complied with
    • that a sample is drawn upon completion of bulking and is sent to an independent laboratory to determine its quality.

    • that the palm oil quality conforms to the quality specifications required by the buyer before shipment.

    • that the palm oil installation is kept clean and all its storage facilities are in good working condition at all times.

    • that the oil palm product stored is free from contamination and its quality meets the standard acceptable to PORLA.

    • that a sample of the oil palm products stored is send to PORLA as and when required, for quality determination and verification.

    • that a monthly statement of stock, bulking and despatch of palm oil is send to PORLA not later than the seventh day of the following month.

    • that the records of stock, bulking and despatch of palm oil are properly maintained and kept for verification of PORLA Palm Oil Inspectors.

    Surveyor performs the final independent inspections and certifications before export. The surveyors will supervise the proper handling procedures to determine the quantity and to draw a representative sample for ascertaining the product quality. It is the responsibility of the palm oil surveyor to ensure:--

    • that the superintendent and survey of palm oil are carried out in compliance with the practices recommended in the PORLA Standard Surveying Procedures And Practices For Palm Oil And Its Derivatives.

    • that the survey is carried out in accordance to the standard imposed by the Malaysian Government and international bodies governing the surveying of palm oil products.
    • that the survey must be conducted by a qualified palm oil surveyor under the Malaysian Palm Oil Surveyors Examination organized by PORLA.
    • that all necessary precautions and actions have been taken to prevent any mishap by the parties involved in the loading of the palm oil from the bulking installation to the ship.
    • that the equipment and instruments used in surveying and sampling of palm oil are not made from copper, brass or copper alloy that is detrimental to the quality of palm oil.
    • that the three previous cargoes of the nominated ship's tank are acceptable to the terms of the contract with the buyer.
    • that all allocated ship tanks are clean, dry and suitable in all respect for storage and carriage of palm oil.
    • that the allocated ship tanks are free from any toxic or leaded material in the form of solid, liquid or gas, odor or any material that is detrimental to the quality of palm oil.
    • that all samples drawn from the shore or ship tanks are kept in tightly sealed containers and are properly labelled before being send to the laboratory for analysis.
    • that a sample of the palm oil is sent to PORLA when required for quality determination and verification.
    • that any protest,rejection, objection or reservation on any consignment surveyed including the condition and suitability of ship's tank be reported to PORLA within 24 hours by telex or telephone and a copy of the letter of protest,rejection, objection or reservation is sent to PORLA not later than the seventh day from the date of survey.
    • that the integrity and professionalism expected of a surveyor is uphold at all times.
    • that the details of survey are recorded in a record book or documented in a manner that it can be easily verified by PORLA Inspector and are kept for two years from the date of survey.
    • that the record of survey pertaining to quantity, product type, quality and details of shore and ship tanks' condition for each consignment is properly kept for verification by PORLA Palm Oil Inspector.
    • that the palm oil survey report issued to the client is a true and accurate account of the survey and is substantiated by records and documents.
    • that a copy of the Palm Oil Survey Report is sent to PORLA not later than the seventh day from the date of survey.
    • that a monthly statement of all the palm oil product surveyed is send to PORLA not later than the seventh day of the following month.

    Qualified surveyors are registered with PORLA which forms another measure of control to enhance professionalism. A registered palm oil surveyor is required to comply to the following Surveyor's Professional Code of Ethics:--

    • A registered surveyor shall conduct himself in such a manner to uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of the profession.
    • A registered surveyor, in discharging his duty to his employer and to the profession shall have full regard to the public and national interest.
    • A registered surveyor shall discharge his duty to his employer withcomplete fidelity and shall not accept any payment for services endered except from his employer or with his employer's permission
    • A registered surveyor shall not injure or attempt to injure, whether indirectly the professional reputation, prospects or business of another registered surveyor or his company with which he is employed.
    • A registered surveyor shall all times ensure that he is fully equipped with the necessary recommended tools (equipment) when conducting his work and shall always maintain a high level of technical competency, and a high degree of professional integrity.
    • A registered surveyor shall not conduct any survey unless he is employed by a surveying company licensed by PORLA for such purpose.
    • A registered surveyor may delegate part of his job to any person who is not a registered surveyor but under his full supervision, and shall be fully responsible for such work carried out by the non- registered surveyor.
    • A registered surveyor, through his company shall not accept job appointment if such acceptance renders or would render it difficult for him to maintain his professional independence.
    • A registered surveyor shall not be influenced by the interest of his client in the conduct of the survey in so far as such interest is inconsistent with upholding the dignity, standing and reputation of the profession.
    • A registered surveyor shall no issue any press statement in the capacity of a registered surveyor on any matters that is likely to injure the dignity and reputation of the profession.
    • A registered surveyor shall not issue any press statement whether of facts or opinion pertaining to any dispute be tween parties in a pending arbitration action or suit of which his survey report is a relevant issue.
    • A registered surveyor shall assist another registered surveyor in the conduct of any joint survey between them and shall not withhold any findings or information crucial to the survey.



    The laboratory is required to conduct testing of samples of palm oil products impartially and professionally using up to date and mutually agreed methods of tests. It is the responsibly of the independent palm oil chemist to ensure :--

    • that the sample received for analysis is contained in new container that is properly labelled and securely sealed.
    • that the test methods applied in the analysis of palm oil samples are in accordance to the test method specified in the contract between the buyer and seller; otherwise to locally and internationally recognized test methods.
    • that the worksheet details of analysis are recorded in a record book or documented in a manner that it can be easily retrieved and verified byPORLA Palm Oil Inspectors and are kept for 2 years from the date of analysis.
    • that the integrity and professionalism expected of a chemist is uphold at all times.
    • that the palm oil analysis report issued to the client is a true and accurate account of the analysis and is substantiated by records and documentary evidence.
    • that a copy of the analysis report issued to the client is send to PORLA not later than the seventh day after the date of analysis.
    • that a monthly statement of all the analysis carried out on palm oil product is send to PORLA not later than the seventh day of the following month.



    PORLA Inspectors are based in five Regional Offices and Branch offices throughout the country to conduct periodic spot inspection on licensed premises within the respective regions. In addition, Port Stations equipped with labarotaries are set up at five major Malaysian ports to ensure that oil palm products exported stringently meet the buyers' specifications. The activities undertaken by PORLA's port stations are :

    • to regularly conduct sampling of palm oil products at the port installations before they are exported.
    • to take and test pre-shipment samples in PORLA laboratories located at the port stations so as to ensure that only quality palm oil products that meet contractual specifications before they are allowed to be exported.
    • to advise exporters whose products fail to meet the contractual specifications to undertake immediate remedial actions to ensure that their products meet the contractual specifications before export
    • to take random samples during loading (into vessels) for the purpose of enforcement of quality control declaration under Regulation 3 of PORLA Quality Control Regulations.
    • to send samples taken to the laboratories and Chemistry Department for analysis so as to determine whether the quality conforms to the contractual specifications as declared in the Customs Declaration Form
    • to monitor the analysis reports from the Chemistry Department in order to determine the monthly average quality and also to detect palm oil quality problems faced the industry
    • generally to ensure that the handling, transferring, storing, transporting, surveying and shipping practices are always in accordance with the required quality practices.



    Regulation and Monitoring

    Given the legislation and the tools to implement them, it is therefore imperative for PORLA ensure that practices towards producing good quality oil palm products are promoted and good quality control activities are observed in all sectors of the industry. PORLA enforces the Palm Oil Industry Quality Control Regulations of 1983 that provide for quality control practices of oil palm products in the local trade and export:

    • It prohibits the act of contamination of any oil palm product with any undesirable matter or any foreign matter detrimental to the quality of the oil palm product.
    • In the case of export, the regulations provide that all exporters must declare the contractual quality specifications in the Custom Declaration Form
    • From the monthly quality statement QC/MF/1 sent to PORLA, analysis is then made to identify mills that are producing poor quality crude palm oil.

    Mills identified of this nature is given reminders to enhance their quality control process so that their products meet the stringent standards as required by the trade.

    • PORLA palm oil inspectors conduct follow-up visits to the mills to check their quality records of production and take samples of the crude palm oil for quality verification as required under the Quality Control Regulation of 1983. Mills that fail to take corrective actions and instead, continue to produce crude palm oil not conforming to stringent standard trade specifications are taken stern action against .
    • PORLA palm oil inspectors at the various regional levels also actively monitor the activity of sludge oil traders to ensure that they do not indulge in unhealthy practices of adulterating palm oil with sludge oil.
    • Road blocks are regularly carried out by PORLA to check on palm oil tankers. During the check, the hatch covers and outlet valves and the seals are inspected. The PORLA Form PL3 as required under PORLA licensing regulations for such movements is also inspected.
    • Regular surveillance is also conducted to identify, locate and ambush illegal storage premises used for unauthorized siphoning of palm oil from lorry tankers. Illegal storage premises were raided and disabled. Palm oil together with the equipment and facilities used in their operations were seized by PORLA.

    Monitoring of the Professional Services

    Inspection of Surveyors

    • PORLA's inspectors regularly check on surveyors to ensure that the records and documentation of survey carried out are properly maintained and the reports issued fulfill the contractual requirements of the buyers/sellers.
    • The monthly statement QC/SV/1 submitted to PORLA on the quality and quantity of palm oil products exported is also verified.
    • PORLA's inspectors at the various port stations also observe / check on the surveyors at time of actual survey, so as ensure that they strictly follow the requirements stipulated by PORLA.

    Inspection of Palm Oil Installations At The Ports

    • checking the condition of facilities and the handling and storage activities. i.e. physical inspection of tanks and tank coatings The heating coils, pipelines and pumps are checked so that they are in proper working conditions and that they do not consist of any material made of copper or copper alloy which is detrimental to the quality of palm oil exported.
    • check the records of oil temperature in the tanks so as to ensure that proper heating procedures are strictly applied during and prior to discharge of the oil from the tanks.

    Inspection of Laboratories

    • the checking of reports of analysis issued for palm oil products.
    • The monthly quality statement QC/CL/1 as submitted to PORLA is also verified for its accuracy.
    • Collaborative test on methods of testing has been organized jointly with PORIM and FOSFA with the purpose of achieving consistency in the various test methods employed.
    • licensees found not practicing quality practice in their activities or not conforming to the recommended quality practices are advised to do so. Those found to have contravened any conditions or restrictions of the licensing regulation are given reminders and warnings, compounded or prosecuted in court.



    Ship/ Shore Surveyors Course

    The has been held since 1987. PORLA, in co-operation with PORIM conducts the Ship-Shore Surveyors Course annually with the objective of not only enhancing the efficiency and quality of palm oil surveying, but also promoting knowledge on the handling, transfer, storage and transportation of palm oil.

    Malaysian Palm Oil Surveyors Examination

    PORLA holds the Malaysian Palm Oil Surveyors Examination that is intended to enhance the professionalism of Malaysian palm oil surveyors. It is aimed at getting palm oil surveyors to be thoroughly knowledgeable in both palm oil survey practices as well as understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of all oil palm products.

    Recommended Practices For Surveying Of Oil Palm Products

    PORLA has established stringent surveying procedures to ensure that surveying of oil palm products, is carried out systematically and efficiently. This standard procedure covers surveying practices during loading and discharge both at the installation and ship as well as documentation of the survey. The standards provide a yardstick to measure the quality performance of the surveyors and to ensure that reports issued by them are supported by recorded facts obtained during surveying.

    Laboratory Accreditation

    PORLA in collaboration with PORIM introduced the Palm Oil Laboratory Accreditation scheme to evaluate the facilities and competency of palm oil laboratories. The evaluation is to ensure that laboratories are manned by qualified personnel, fully equipped to conduct tests under the normal parameters as specified in standard contracts, maintain proper records of analysis, conduct routine maintenance and calibration of equipment and observe strictly all safety standards and requirement during operations.

    Malaysian Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (SAMM)

    The Sectoral Committee on Oils And Fats of Malaysian Laboratory Accreditation Scheme housed in PORLA is entrusted with the objective of ensuring that local independent laboratories conduct their business according to the stipulated standards, recognized both locally and internationally.


    Further Information.

    The legal liabilities and palm oil quality programmes are summarized in this document. For further information, please contact :

    Palm Oil Registration And Licensing Authority
    Lot 6 SS 6
    Jalan Perbandaran
    47301 Kelana Jaya

    Tel : 03-7035544
    Fax : 03-7033533


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