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Saturday, October 20, 2018


SIRE has now been running for 7 years, with over 45,000 reports submitted to date. There are currently 67 recipients who can access the reports. From these, there are 19 OCIMF members who submit the reports.

The numbers are a couple down on last year, but this is on account of the recent oil company mergers. In 1999 there were a total of 12,903 reports accessed, up on the 8678 accessed in 1998. For the year 2000 it already looks as though charterers will make fuller use of SIRE. In February alone there were almost twice as many reports requested by charterers than received.

A remaining obstacle to the fullest use of the SIRE reports is the lack of VPQs entered by owners to the SIRE system. Whilst there are 4078 ships in the SIRE index, there are only 1646 VPQs. When one considers that some charterers are reluctant to draw down a SIRE report which does not have the VPQ attached, some owners are doing themselves a major disservice by not getting the VPQs in. It is acknowledged that this is no simple job, with a huge number of technically detailed questions. However, an owner may enter the VPQ to the best of his ability and come at a later date with the few remaining outstanding questions on which a reply might be awaited from the ship.  The owner is able to update the VPQ at any time and this, of course, has to be done for the approximately 30-odd questions, which do change, such as certificate dates and manning changes. It is not necessary to wait for the tanker to be inspected to enter the VPQ into SIRE. It can be entered at any time and will stay there until the tanker is inspected,  at which point it will be activated.

OCIMF is also in the process of undertaking a number of software enhancements. Of particular interest to members will be the export function, which will allow an owner to download his VPQ. The owner will then be able to use it for filling in pre-charterering questionnaires and relieve the pressure on those Friday night demands! This function should hopefully be available from the end of April and owners should make their request to SIRE.

The second edition of the SIRE VIQ has been printed and is now available from the Witherby publishers, (Phone No. +0207 251 5341 & Fax +0207 251 1296). In addition OCIMF have kindly agreed to make available to INTERTANKO CD Rom copies of the VIQ and it is hoped that these can be sent out soon.

The VPQ is currently in the process of being harmonised between the SIRE and CDI versions and it is hoped that this will be completed before the end of the year.

In the meantime, the often-expressed complaint regarding inspector standards and consistency has been addressed. In 1999, 460 vetting inspectors attended one of the 17 seminars held world wide. In addition the OCIMF GPC is considering approval of an examination of inspectors to ensure adequate quality of the inspectors.

With regard to the changes that will be made to the UK telephone system, owners are reminded of the changes to the contact details for SIRE. In addition, OCIMF have also updated their web page, which also has a simpler address, ( SIRE has the email address and this is the preferred means of communication and the one which will receive the speediest response. The access number for uploading VPQs to SIRE is + 44 020 7799 3396, whilst the number for submitting operator comments is + 44 020 77993421.

Finally, members are reminded to update SIRE regarding any new tankers or sale and purchase.

INTERTANKO has requested that it be made possible to list the responses from owners alongside (in an adjoining box) the observations of the inspector. SIRE said that there were no plans at present.

The use of the Feedback Form is still a helpful tool in trying to get action taken on the question of inferior inspectors. If members do encounter a bad inspector, they are encouraged to inform INTERTANKO on the Feedback form and this can then be joined with other complaints from other owners. At the meeting it was reported by one of the charterers that an inspector's employment had recently been terminated following complaints. Clearly reports from various members show this is not a one-off occurrence.  For further information: