Measures to eliminate sub-standard tankers

Maritime Safety Committee - 73rd session: 27 November - 6 December 2000

IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has developed a preliminary list of proposed measures aimed at eliminating sub-standard oil tankers and other sub-standard ships. During the MSC’s 73rd session, a working group agreed a list of 22 proposed measures aimed at "enhancing safety and minimizing the risk of oil pollution".

    The MSC agreed to refer the working group’s report to the Organization’s Sub-Committees and to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for general consideration. The Sub-Committees are expected to consider the issues assigned to them (see below), advise MSC 74 on the outcome and, where appropriate, submit proposals for inclusion of these matters in their work programmes.

    The list was developed from a preliminary list of proposed measures drawn up by the MEPC when it met in October 2000, during discussions on issues arising from the Erika disaster off the coast of France in December 1999. At that time, the MEPC also agreed to accelerate the current phase-out schedule for single-hull oil tankers, with the finalized revised phase-out schedule set to be adopted at the next MEPC session in April 2001.

    The list of proposed measures for discussion by the Sub-Committees, MSC and MEPC includes the following:

Measures aimed at enhancing safety and minimizing the risk of oil pollution

Proposed measure

Ship type to which it applies

New/existing

IMO body to consider further

General

Identify and quantify the risks associated with the transport of high density and persistent oils as cargo and possible options to prevent accidental spills or outflow of such oils

 

Oil tanker
New & existing

 

BLG

Ensure that any corrective regulatory measures in the aftermath of a casualty are based on an authoritative investigation where the root causes of the accident are identified and analysed

All ships
New & existing

MSC and MEPC

Consider the lessons learnt from the operation of single hull tankers and decide whether these apply to double hull tankers, taking into account their particular design features, especially regarding ageing double hull tankers. Consider also any other safety measures which may be necessary

Double hull tankers
New & existing

DE, FP, SLF and BLG

Invite consideration of protection of fuel oil tanks

All ship types
New

DE and BLG

Examine the need to establish principles for coastal States, acting either individually or on a regional basis, to review their contingency arrangements regarding the provision of ports of refuge

All ship types
New & existing

COMSAR and OPRC working group

Ship design, construction and repair

Establish how and to what extent the responsibility of shipyards for the construction and repair of ships in conformity with national regulations, class rules and relevant international standards should be determined

 

All ship types
New & existing

 

DE

Identify any new measures specific to the operation of double hull tankers, due to their increased structural complexity

Double hull oil tankers
New & existing

DE and FP

Establish a design philosophy aimed at achieving a higher structural standard. This philosophy should, inter alia:

  • identify the minimum design life of the ship;

  • establish a required residual redundancy of structure, taking into account aspects such as structural fatigue, local stresses, corroision and bucking;

  • take into account necessary structural redundnancy due to possible human error in cargo operations and seamanship;

  • simplify the structural configuration to facilitate access, maintenance and inspection;

  • establish the adequate frequency and extent of surveys; and

  • take into account any other aspects relevant to this issue.

All ships
New

DE

Bulk carriers and tankers should be made survey-friendly from the design stage

Bulk carriers and oil tankers
New

DE

Surveys

Resolution A.744(18) should be reviewed to make survey procedures stricter and to strengthen the effectiveness of the application of ESP requirements. Special consideration should be given to items related to planning of survey and repairs; splitting of surveys; surveyor attendance during thickness measurement; deferral of repairs; and survey reporting

 

Bulk carriers and oil tankers
New and existing

 

DE and FSI

Define standard terminology and procedures which accurately describe the extent of problems/defects identified during surveys, which should be made mandatory for all survey reports

All ship types
New and existing

DE and STW

Improvement of surveyors’ qualifications

All ship types
New and existing

FSI

Consider making mandatory the use of exclusive surveyors for statutory surveys

All ship types
New and existing

FSI

Certification

Develop an interpretation of SOLAS regulation I/14(e) to clarify that extension of the period of validity of certificates can only be granted in very specific circumstances

 

All ship types
New and existing

 

FSI

Human element

Consider human element issues including training of seafarers, human resources and other operational measures which will minimize the risk of oil pollution from tankers

 

All ship types, especially oil tankers

 

STW and the Joint MSC/MEPC Working Group on the Human Element

Safety of navigation/Emergency

Consider whether there is a need to develop additional requirements for the proper handling of ships and prudent seamanship in adverse weather conditions

 

All ships
New and existing

 

STW and NAV

Consider what additional safety measures may be necessary for ships navigating in narrow waterways and/or areas of dense traffic

All ships
New & existing

STW and NAV

Implementation

Continue to promote the uniform and effective implementation of rules, regulations and guidelines by all parties concerned for the safe transport of cargoes in general, and of polluting cargoes in particular

 

All ship types
New & existing

 

FSI

Review the guidelines on the performance and control of classification societies to enhance supervision by flag State

All ship types
New & existing

FSI

Develop minimum harmonized survey requirements to ensure compliance with the applicable provisions on transfer of class

All ship types
New and existing

FSI

Develop new provisions on change of flag

All ship types
New and existing

FSI

Port State control

Improve the uniformity of inspection and reporting practices for port State control and promote exchange of information

 

All ship types
New and existing

 

FSI

 

Key:

MSC Maritime Safety Committee
MEPC Marine Environment Protection Committee
BLG Sub-committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases
FP Sub-committee on Fire Protection
COMSAR Sub-committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue
NAV Sub-committee on Safety of Navigation
DE Sub-committee on Ship Design and Equipment
STW Sub-committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping
FSI Sub-committee on Flag State Implementation