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Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Erika I & II

After the settlement of the phasing out issue at the IMO and signals from the European Parliament that they are willing to compromise on remaining issues in order to reach decision, it now seems likely that the European Transport Ministers will adopt final EU legislation on the port state control, classification and phasing out proposals towards the end of June. 

At the same time INTERTANKO has concentrated its efforts mainly on two of the three proposals contained in the Erika II package.  Both issues, a proposal for a European vessel monitoring and reporting system and a proposal for a third layer “COPE-fund” of oil pollution compensation to be available for European oil pollution victims, are now actively debated in the European Parliament as well as amongst EU Member States (Council).  Where as INTERTANKO input to the spokesman (“rapporteur”) for the COPE issue is only reflected to a limited degree in the Parliament’s initial positions, the Parliament has picked up on a wide range of INTERTANKO views concerning the monitoring and reporting directive.  In this regard INTERTANKO is now working through various channels in order to secure support for a more realistic EU approach to mandatory retrofitting of VDRs, a systematic approach to the use of transponders, ring fencing of the rights and obligations of the master to decide on whether to leave a port under bad weather conditions and, on the establishment of a port of refuge system in Europe.  On the COPE issue INTERTANKO is currently very active both in Brussels and elsewhere in order to secure that this initiative serves to reinforce the international regime rather than to dismantle it.  The current short term target of INTERTANKO is to make sure that Members of the European Parliament are adequately informed on the views of the international tanker industry ahead of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee meeting on the 28 May. After that date the positions taken by Parliament will be difficult to move.

Air emissions from ships

INTERTANKO has for a considerable time been in a dialogue with the European Commission over its announced initiative on sulphur emissions from ships.  A main aim has been to argue for Europe to support the MARPOL Annex VI approach and to avoid shipping being treated under the same rules on air emissions as those adopted for land based industries in Europe.  It is therefore significant that the Commission has now postponed its initiative in order to look into air emissions from ships in a coherent and international context.  A consequence of this new approach is, however, that not only SOx, NOx and CO2 but also VOCs emissions from ships that will be looked at.  INTERTANKO has therefore prepared an industry position paper on ship emissions which will be discussed with Commission experts in the very near future. A similar position paper on VOC emissions will be presented at IMO MEPC 47.