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Thursday, September 20, 2018


INTERTANKO has been actively involved in the proposed matter of retrofitting Voyage Data Recorders to existing tankers both at IMO and within the EU. To assist us in our work we would like to request the assistance of some of our members.


The IMO agreed that a further study would be made into the pros and cons of retro-fitting VDR’s to existing tankers. This agreement was reached with the help of INTERTANKO, who argued at IMO that according to the LMIS data on casualties over the 1990s, only one tanker in every 1000 is at risk of having a structural total loss. Shipping in general is three to four times more at risk than tankers. The majority of accidental pollution from tankers is still due to collision and groundings and the use of VDR’s would not prevent them but would assist in investigation after the event.

The EU may wish to see VDR’s introduced for all vessels before the study by IMO has been completed.

Current Situation

INTERTANKO has met and written to MEP’s in Brussels and raised the issue at E.U. committee meetings.  The EU is beginning to recognise that there is indeed a need for some form  of exemption for tankers which will be phased out, and/or reduced VDR’s for existing tankers.

A company called Broadgate manufactures type approved VDR’s in the UK that fulfil the IMO requirements, and has sent us a proforma quotation for retro-fitting VDRs on existing tankers.

In the Broadgate quotation, the cost of the VDR breaks down as follows:

VDR basic cost

USD 70,000

Interface equipment

Maximum  USD 28,000

Installation maximum

USD 8000

Total about

USD 110,000

The Broadgate quotation lists the interfacing equipment required for the various parts of the VDR and each associated interface cost. It can be seen that (allegedly at least) the interfacing is not as expensive as initially envisaged, although USD 28,000 remains a large amount of money. Accordingly the main thrust of our argument remains unchanged: a reduced VDR and/or exemptions for vessels to be phased out.

Request for Assistance from INTERTANKO Members

Where INTERTANKO would like some assistance from its members is in relation to the Broadgate quotation questionnaire.

Have any members completed the Broadgate Questionnaire for a specific quotation price which relates to the interfacing of the equipment onboard your existing vessels?

If so, INTERTANKO needs to know the following for tankers that were built between 1980 to 2000:

  1. The age of the vessel
  2. The quoted cost for interfacing and installation

This will enable INTERTANKO to better present its arguments at the EU for exemptions (for vessels to be phased out) and to have a reduced VDR for existing vessels based upon the interfacing difficulties.

Please send this information to Capt. Howard Snaith

Click here for a copy of the Broadgate quotation, reproduced with their kind permission