Not Logged In, Login,

Monday, September 24, 2018

INTERTANKO welcomes court decision striking down efforts to require modifications to tank vessel equipment and design

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) today commented favourably on word that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal had struck down efforts by the State of Washington to require modifications to tank vessel equipment and design that varied from federal and international standards. This decision overturns a previous ruling by a lower court which went against the INTERTANKO challenge.

The appellate court in San Francisco struck down those portions of Washington State regulations that required vessel modifications to towing and navigational equipment. Other Washington State requirements for operations in State waters and crew training were upheld.

"This is a very positive step for marine safety and for the efficiency of international standards", said INTERTANKO’s Managing Director, Dagfinn Lunde. "We hope that U.S. courts and the Congress will go beyond this ruling to discourage operational and crew qualification initiatives by local governments. However, the Washington State measures that required physical modifications to vessels were among the most objectionable of local deviations from international requirements. Mr. Lunde said that INTERTANKO’s attorneys would consult with lawyers for its alley in the matter the Government of the United States, about whether further action on those portions of the appellate decision that upheld Washington State regulations is warranted.

Mr. Lunde continued:

"Obviously, INTERTANKO does not think it desirable from a safety perspective to permit any deviation from national and international standards by local governments. This is a mixed decision, some elements of which are not consistent with our legal position attacking all of Washington States deviations from federal standards. Our lawyers must review the text of the decision carefully to advise us on further actions. However, the banning of local regulations affecting vessel configurations is gratifying".

The INTERTANKO membership includes, as Full Members, 274 tanker companies with 1,968 tankers totalling 172.6 million tons deadweight. This is equivalent to 75% of all independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. In addition, there are 286 INTERTANKO Associate Member companies.

For more information contact:
C. Jonathan Benner, INTERTANKO’s US Legal Counsel, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott Tel: +1 202 659 6600.