The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its 54th session in March 2006 adopted an amendment to MARPOL Annex I to include a new regulation 12A on oil fuel tank protection. The regulation applies to all ships delivered on or after 1 August 2010 with an aggregate oil fuel capacity of 600 m3 and above. It includes requirements for the protected location of the fuel tanks and performance standards for accidental oil fuel outflow.
A maximum capacity limit of 2,500m3 per oil fuel tank is included in the regulation, which also requires Administrations to consider general safety aspects, including the need for maintenance and inspection of wing and double-bottom tanks or spaces, when approving the design and construction of ships in accordance with the regulation. Consequential amendments to the IOPP Certificate were also adopted.
The MEPC also agreed to include appropriate text referring to the new regulation in the amendments to the Guidelines for the application of the revised MARPOL Annex I requirements to FPSOs and FSUs and approved a Unified Interpretation on the application of the regulation to column-stabilized MODUs.