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Monday, September 24, 2018


We have been informed that France (probably supported by Germany) has recently submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the proposal for an accelerated phase-out of single hull tankers.

The single hull tankers are grouped in 3 categories and each ship category will be phased out by a maximum age limit for the ship or by a general final due date, whichever is earlier, as follows:





Design type



Crude & Product*

> 20,000 dwt


23 years/2005**


Crude & Product

>20/30,000 dwt


26 years/1 January 2008

3 (a)

Crude & Product*

600 – 20,000 dwt


25 years/2013**

3 (b)

Crude & Product

600 – 30,000 dwt


30 years/2013**

*        product carriers carrying fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil
**        no particular month given in the current draft


It is proposed that the accelerated phase-out scheme be applied from 1 January 2003. This means that all pre-MARPOL tankers delivered before 1980 (basically ALL pre-MARPOL crude carriers) will be phased out during year 2003!

The proposal does not give any further allowance (e.g. alternative operational or structural measures such as HBL) for the pre-MARPOL tankers unless the tanker complies with the MARPOL regulations for protectively located segregated ballast tanks (PL/SBT), in which case it can trade up to 26 years of age or until 1 June 2008, whichever is the earliest.

The latter phase-out condition would, however, mean that ALL single hull tankers of 20,000/30,000 dwt and above would be phased-out by 1 June 2008 irrespective of whether they were legally built and delivered by 5 July 1996! A post-MARPOL tanker could then be phased-out at a minimum age of 12 years while under OPA 90 provisions, pre-MARPOL tankers may call at LOOP or at the Designated Lightering Zones in the US EEZ until 31 December 2014!

The consequences of the French proposal have to be assessed. This will be done shortly and information provided accordingly.

Key words:

Pre-MARPOL tankers – tankers with no segregated ballast tank systems (built before 1 June 1982).

PL/SBT (protectively located segregated ballast tanks) tankers – tankers which have a complete segregation of the ballast tanks, of the ballast piping and pumping systems. The ballast tanks are protectively located within the tanker’s structure in order to avoid or limit oil cargo outflow from contact accidents (collision or grounding). These tankers have been built after June 1982.

For further information, please contact