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Friday, September 21, 2018

INTERTANKO welcomes the international dialogue and discussion at IMO MEPC meetings this week.

Amendments to Regulations 13G et al of Annex I of Marpol 73/78.

Following an introduction of the EU proposals to accelerate the phase-out of single-hull tankers, to expand the Condition Assessment Scheme to single-hull tankers at 15 years of age, and to restrict the carriage of heavy oils to double-hull tankers, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) took note of comments made by INTERTANKO and others, and established a Working Group to review these proposals.

The Working Group reported back to the Committee as noted below.

Category 1 (pre-Marpol tankers):

The Working Group agreed to support the acceleration of the overall phase-out deadline, according to the proposed (EU) amendments, from 2007 to 2005, having understood that this would not create major problems for the shipping industry. This would mean that the current Marpol 13G regulations would apply until 2005. and that tankers delivered in 1973 or earlier would be phased out in 2003, those delivered in 1974 in 2004, and all other Category 1 single-hull tankers would be phased out in 2005.

Category 2 (Marpol with SBT/PL) and Category 3 (5,000-19,999 dwt. crude and 5,000-29,999 dwt. products):

The proposed (EU) amendments to phase out all Category 2 and 3 tankers by 2010 encountered a considerable counter-argument from Japan, Brazil, India, Saudia Arabia and others, particularly over the premature withdrawal of the so-called 'teenage' tankers in 2010. Concerns highlighted the destabilising of investment schedules and company balance sheets as well as market distortions.

The EU group noted these concerns and has tabled a revision for these younger tankers to be allowed to trade past 2010, up to 20, 23 or 25 years of age (to be finalised), but in any event not beyond 2015.

This is, however, dependent on compliance with CAS (see below) and on compliance with EU insistence on the retention of the 13G paragraph 8(b) text which would permit a State to deny entry of Category 2/3 oil tankers into its ports and offshore terminals after 2010. INTERTANKO and other industry bodies welcomed the offer, but observed that a tanker that has cleared CAS should be allowed to trade internationally without potential denial of port entry.


The proposed (EU) amendments introduced the concept of CAS from 2005 for all Category 2 and 3 (single-hull) tankers older than 15 years. INTERTANKO supported such a move but only as part of the acceptability of 'teenage' single-hull tankers being able to trade internationally after 2010.

In a related development, a new Study Group to be hosted by the UK will be established, including representatives from IACS and the industry (INTERTANKO, OCIMF, ICS and BIMCO), to review the applicability of CAS for ships 15 years and older, including Category 3 ships, and to develop any other necessary revisions such as the need to consider cargo histories in the survey planning process. This group has also been charged with considering the development of a CAS or equivalent for double-hull tankers.

INTERTANKO has also highlighted the very real practical problems in all tankers over 15 years complying with CAS requirements by 2005 - anticipated to be between 800 and 1000 in number. This was accepted by the WG, which will look at more appropriate introductory phase-in requirements which will give a smoother and more practical implementation of CAS. This might end up with the first CAS for such ships being carried out at the first major survey after the vessel's anniversary in 2005 but not later than 2008.

Heavy oils :

Particular resistance to proposed (EU) amendments covering the barring of single-hull tankers from carrying heavy oils came from US and Latin-American interests. Some 70% of the total production and trade of heavy crude oils which may fall within the scope of this proposed regulation is concentrated in this one region and would have to be shipped in double-hull tankers.

While the EU countries are apparently adhering to their position, Japan and Russia also expressed their concerns over the impact of the proposals on the large number of small tankers involved in the coastal trade of heavy oils, the vast majority of which are single-hulled. According to the original EU proposals, these single-hull vessels below 5,000 dwt would be banned from heavy oils trades from 2008.

At this time, while the proposal that heavy fuel oil be carried in double hulls has received general support, questions remain over the inclusion of heavy crudes and the density limit to be applied.

MEPC accepted the report of the WG and has agreed that an extra session will be held in November/December 2003 in conjunction with the twenty-third IMO Assembly.

The Committee has also recommended the reactivation of the Expert Group (of which INTERTANKO is a member) to review and update the impact study in the light of the revisions now under discussion.