How does it work?
One of our main activities is carrying out umpire analysis. Not sure what that is?
In general these are referee analysis for a certain parcel or cargo. Those analysis can be requested on all kinds of dry bulk commodities.
Let us explain how it works exactly!
Who, where and why?
Both buyer and seller can request for an umpire analysis to resolve any disputes that may arise from the obtained analytical results
between two independent laboratories, whose results are non-conform contractual specifications.
A possible dispute between laboratories in the analysis outcome may be caused when samples have been taken at port of loading,
port of discharge or port of transshipment.
Umpire analysis can also be requested when the difference in quality is too big and exceeding the maximum contractual-agreed benchmark
for a certain value in the established analytical results. By means of accepting an umpire analysis, the analytical results obtained
from the umpire samples will be final and binding for both supplier and receiver, along with all parties involved.
Where to start
When an umpire analysis is requested, the inspection bodies whom obtained the samples, will collect the sub-lot samples or a composite
sample of the requested parcel or cargo. These samples have to be send to the agreed third independent laboratory, which has to be
accepted by both the supplier and the receiver prior to closing the contract for delivering a certain cargo.
Exact same procedures
In order to avoid that differences may occur in the final analytical results, it is necessary to perform the final preparation of the
reserve samples according to the exact same procedures used for the quality samples that were used initially for the analysis.
Importance of storage conditions
Reserve samples which may be used as umpire samples have to be stored under special conditions and circumstances the samples may not
be influenced by air, moisture or day light for the total period of storage. In case one of these factors has influenced the reserve sample,
the sample can’t be used anylonger as representative umpire sample of the certain cargo as the quality will be influenced.
Usually the reserve samples have to be kept and stored for at least 3 months after the cargo has been loaded or discharged, in order
to give the customer enough time to request an umpire analysis if necessary.
Going to the lab
The umpire laboratory will analyze the samples in triplicate, according to international established methods and quality control protocols.
These methods and protocols have to be applied in order to provide the highest level of accuracy and precision of the analytical figures.
The analysis has to be performed in the umpire laboratory according to the applicable ISO and/or ASTM standards for the specific commodity and
the requested analysis, and under full accreditation according to the ISO/IEC 17025 international norm.
The umpire analysis always have to be performed by at least two different laboratory employees on two different working days. The average of
these established analytical results will be reported as final outcome and have to be accepted as binding figures by all parties involved.
Accreditation is recommended
In order to avoid umpire analyses in general, representative inspection, sampling and sample preparation by an inspection company accredited with
ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation is highly recommended. This accreditation proves that the inspection company performs visual inspection, sampling and
sample preparation in the most accurate way, with the relevant instruments and knowledge in order to obtain the most accurate quality samples.
The value of proper sampling and sample preparation of a commodity cargo counts for at least 98 % of the final analytical quality outcome,
as the laboratory doesn’t receive any raw samples but rather samples already prepared according to the ISO/IEC 17020 and NEN international norm
regulations. However this only counts when the final prepared quality sample will be analyzed in a laboratory according to ISO/IEC 17025
accreditation requirements for the specific commodity cargo.