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Thursday, September 20, 2018


INTERTANKO, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, representing over 2,000 tankers and 161 M ton Deadweight, would like to make the following clarification of international vetting practise and approval of tankers by the oil majors as is practised today, following the sinking of the Erika off the coast of France, on 12th December, 1999.

Since this time, oil majors have radically changed the process under which they vet and approve tankers for charter or use by their terminals or associated business.  Up till that date it had been the custom for oil majorsto give approval for between one and two years depending on the circumstances of the tanker and the owner. Subsequent to the sinking of the Erika, the system of approvals has changed, as a number of oil majors were reported to have given a period of approval for the vessel and were embarrassed in the very public furore that followed. 

Now, following the Erika accident, an oil major will inspect the vessel and the owners.  Approvals for a tanker, are given for the particular voyage and no longer for a period, thus an owner is unable to warrant that the tanker is acceptable to a particular oil major.  In addition to this, an oil major will typically write to the owner saying that they have inspected the tanker and at this particular time have no need of any further information, but should any thing change in the circumstances of the tanker or its management then they wish to be informed.  The oil majors then go on to forbid the owner to divulge the contents of the letter to any third party, declaring the correspondence is a confidential exchange between the two parties, whilst at the same time expressly making clear that no approval for the tanker can be assumed by this letter. 

Thus owners should be clear that from now on, no warranty can realistically be given and that this is the common practise in the market today.  INTERTANKO would be willing to assist in any further clarifications as to current vetting practise that may be required on demand as we constantly in touch with oil majors vetting departments and aware of latest practise.

For further information, please contact