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Thursday, January 18, 2018

USCG/INTERTANKO PARTNERSHIP MEETING

INTERTANKO representatives met USCG Rear Admiral Paul Pluta and USCG program officers to discuss i.a. QUALSHIP 21, port security and safety, oily water separators, air emissions from ships, INTERTANKO’s new terminal vetting project, the impact of the Tank Level Pressure Monitor regulation and terrorist liability.

Following the North American Panel meeting (see Weekly NEWS No. 39 of 27 September), INTERTANKO’s Programme in the United States last week was concluded with a USCG/INTERTANKO Partnership meeting between USCG Rear Admiral Paul Pluta, USCG program officers and the leadership of the INTERTANKO North American Panel together with INTERTANKO’s management. The INTERTANKO delegation gave input on the tanker industry’s experience with QUALSHIP21 reiterating INTERTANKO’s basic support for the programme, but also outlining issues of concern such as, for example, the impact of the flag criterion. As a compromise solution, INTERTANKO does not suggest a total removal of the flag criterion but, should a tanker fail to qualify for QUALSHIP21 on account of its Flag, then INTERTANKO has forwarded concrete suggestions for a re-evaluation of that particular ship, as highlighted in the document which can be viewed here


INTERTANKO also recognised the constructive role the US Coast Guard is playing with regard to US port security and outlined the industry’s concerns with regard to the overall impact the measures of various US agencies were having on tanker operations and tanker crews. It was recognised at the meeting that safety and security were closely interlinked and that the tanker and shore terminal industries’ focus on safety was positive also in a security context.

 

Both the US Coast Guard and INTERTANKO had work underway with regard to oily-water separators in engine rooms. It was considered that a joint effort to seek solutions to the problem experienced might be an added item to the USCG/INTERTANKO Partnership Agreement. INTERTANKO will follow up suggestions for the Terms of Reference of such a joint activity.

 

The Coast Guard’s role in supporting the findings of INTERTANKO’s original Port and Terminal Safety report and initiating an interagency Marine Transportation System initiative were discussed in the context of the forthcoming release of a new status report on Port and Terminal Safety from INTERTANKO in November.

 

It was made known to the USCG that the industry is way ahead in reducing the emissions from ships and the bottle neck at the moment is the lack of ratification and implementation of MARPOL Annex VI combined with regional requirements (i.e. EU and US) deviating from the IMO standards. INTERTANKO also dismissed the misconception that the NOx emissions standards achievable by the industry today were much less than the standards in Annex VI. There is a great deal of research and development being undertaken for newer and lower emissions engines and governments should give incentives and support to such activity rather than using resources for unilateral legislation.

 

The US Coast Guard was also briefed on INTERTANKO’s new terminal vetting project. Tanker owners’ concern with regard to the impact of the Tank Level Pressure Monitor regulation and the terrorism liability situation were also discussed with the Coast Guard.

 

Contact: Dragos Rauta, e-mail: dragos.rauta@intertanko.com