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Friday, October 19, 2018


International Marine Transportation Limited, (IMT) has now released their long awaited revision of their Marine Safety Criteria. The new edition replaces the 1997 edition.

The new edition details the standard equipment and operation for a vessel to be considered for ExxonMobil affiliate service.  Additional requirements exist for vessels used on Term Charter, which are provided separately to owners/operators when a Time Charter is being developed.  A generic Time Charter MSC is available from IMT.

There are a number of technical changes identified in the MSC, including the following.

Owner Operator rating

In determining whether or not a vessel is suitable for ExxonMobil Affiliate service, a number of factors are taken into account in addition to the condition of the vessel at the time of the inspection.  For example, owners and Operators are “rated” into one of several categories.  The rating not only influences the vetting decision for spot charters, but also influences the selection of COA’s and Time Charters which require owner ratings in the two highest categories.  Included in the rating is the effectiveness of the management system, the vessel fleet safety performance and the owner/operators ability to respond effectively to any emergencies which mayt arise.  Companies whose above noted systems are considered to be inadequate will not be considered for the ExxonMobil affiliate business or be permitted to call at affiliate terminals.

Additional factors to be considered in the vetting process

Vessel Performance reports (VPRs) provided by affiliate marine terminals following a cargo operation; the casualty history of the vessel; any reported Port State Detentions; performance of other vessels managed by the same ownership; the contents of the industry reports available in the SIRE and CDI database as appropriate.

Vessel inspection

Operators are strongly encouraged to review the condition of the vessels against the MSC to expedite the inspection process.  The purpose of the vessel inspection is to check that the vessel meets the MSC requirements.  However, inspections identify deficiencies that are not known to the Master involving, defective or missing equipment, lack of operational or safety knowledge demonstrated by the crew, poor housekeeping and poor physical appearance of the vessel.  In the opinion of IMT this represents a failure of the management system both by the operator and by the crew.  When these deficiencies have been drawn to the attention of the operator, typically the operator will write to detailing the corrective action that has been taken, following which the vessel will again be presented for service.  In the opinion of ExxonMobil such deficiencies demonstrate a failure of the management process and it is IMT’s practice to deem such vessels as unacceptable until a period of time has elapsed.  The vessel may then be reconsidered for inspection if there is a commercial interest by ExxonMobil affiliates and will only be considered for use if found to be free of deficiencies and to conform to the MSC requirements.  It should be noted that IMT will not re-inspect a vessel solely at the request of the owner/operator.  INTERTANKO suggest that when responding to IMT, that a member explains how the procedures have been changed so as to prevent repetition of such a deficiency, rather than simply saying that the deficiency has been rectified.

The MSC is a 40 page document, which is currently being circulated to owners/operators.  For a copy, please mail to: