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What is a genuine marine spare?

When on-board equipment needs a replacement part, the options can be confusing. There are so many contradicting definitions on the Internet. Some suppliers may even promise to deliver one type of spare (like an OEM part) but supply “aftermarket” parts instead.

So what are the differences between OEM, genuine and aftermarket marine spare parts?

1. OEM marine spares (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

At MR Spares, we define the OEM as the maker and seller of the main product. So Mercedes is an OEM selling cars, Schindler is an OEM selling elevators and Caterpillar is an OEM selling heavy duty engines. All three produce parts in their own factories (car chassis, elevator control panels and engine castings). But they also buy parts elsewhere (like ignition systems from Bosch, elevator ropes from China, and pressure gauges from Wika).

MR Spares always buys OEM spare parts from the OEM. OEM spares are marked with the OEM brand name to prove that these are the identical parts that the equipment manufacturer uses.

Your advantage: MR Spares can often buy OEM spare parts at a lower price because of our bulk orders. We pass the saving on to you.

2. Genuine marine spares

As mentioned above, OEMs (like Schindler) buy parts from other manufacturers too; we call these manufacturers “genuine makers” and refer to the parts as “genuine parts”. So genuine parts are 100% the same as the OEM part, but they do not have the OEM sticker; only the genuine maker’s brand name.

So how do we find out what’s “genuine”? It has taken us a while, but we’ve got it boxed by now! For many years we used to buy a spare part from the OEM, then peel off the OEM sticker, and 9 times out of 10 the true maker’s brand name and serial number would be revealed. We would then record both the OEM and the genuine maker’s serial number in our system. Now, when a new OEM parts enquiry comes in, we cross reference and buy it from the genuine maker for a much lower price.

Your advantage: You get exactly the same quality, but at a much lower price.


To be clear: Original spare parts can either be OEM or Genuine parts.

3. Aftermarket marine spares (or OEM-equivalent)

Aftermarket parts are replacement parts made according to OEM specs. Owners often use these parts for non-critical components on board or when OEM parts are no longer available.

The only potential problem with aftermarket spare parts is quality. There are absolute top quality aftermarket components on the market (even better than the original!), but also terrible ones that will ruin your main equipment.

So how to recognise good from bad? We have learned over many years how to spot the good ones. We learned by visiting factories, checking test reports, studying the tolerances used, verifying ISO-9001 certificates, confirming credentials, asking other users about their experiences, and sometimes by trial and error.

Today, after a lot of learning, we can guarantee high quality products for much lower pricing.

Your advantage: When we state “MR S tested and approved”, you can be sure the replacement part is safe to use, at a much lower price

So which type of spare are you buying?

To prevent any misunderstanding when we quote, we mention in the material line of every quotation the type of spare which is being offered: OEM, Genuine or Aftermarket.

Can’t find what you need? Please ask!

If the equipment, machine or brand is not mentioned in our product portfolio or online Webshop, please do not hesitate to ask whether we can supply the part you need. Our team will be more than happy to assist you, 24/7.