INTERTANKO members’ interests were represented at the meeting of IMO’s Bulk Liquids and Gases sub-Committee (BLG) by Howard Snaith, Tim Wilkins and Tim Gunner from the Secretariat, in which the revision of MARPOL Annex I and II was the main focus.

Working groups were set up for both of the MARPOL Annexes. Discussions within the Annex I working group focused primarily on:
  1. Revision of the IOPP certificate and the Oil Record Book (Part I and II).
  2. Probabilistic methodology for oil outflow analysis, which will replace the current regulations for new vessels after the date of enforcement of the revised Annex I.
  3. The request for an amendment to SOLAS requiring the mandatory provision of an MSDS for each Annex I type cargo and bunker loaded to be supplied by the shipper or supplier of the consignment.

In parallel to the Annex I working group, the Annex II group worked on

  1. Oil Like Substances.
    After a protracted debate in plenary, although INTERTANKO opposed the deletion of the references to “Oil like substances”, BLG 7 agreed to delete the references from the revised Annex II on the basis that toluene and xylene would be upgraded to a category B after the re-assessment under the revised GESAMP hazard profiles. These chemicals would be moved in addition to a further 10 products currently listed in Resolution 14 of the unified interpretations of MARPOL Annex II.
  2. Carriage of Cargoes in Wing Tanks for Double Hull Purposes.
    After discussion in plenary the Committee agreed to amend regulation 13F(3) of MARPOL Annex I to read ‘The entire cargo tank length shall be protected by ballast tanks or spaces other than tanks that carry oil as follows’, thus enabling single hull combine oil tankers to carry Appendix III chapter 18 cargoes in their wing tanks. INTERTANKO’s position was based upon the Council and Executive Committee  endorsement  of the CTOAG position paper that this concept should be opposed. However due to majority opinion at BLG the objections by INTERTANKO were not upheld.
  3. Revised Stripping Requirements.
    Based upon the conclusions drawn from the joint INTERTANKO, CCA and Norwegian Shipping Association stripping study, it was agreed that technology was available to reduce the current stripping limitations within MARPOL Annex II to 75 litres. This was supported by other industry representatives and government organisations. Accordingly, it was agreed that the revised stripping requirements should be set at 75 litres.

4.      Three- or five-Category Pollution System
INTERTANKO attended the ESPH working group where, among other work relating to the fine-tuning of criteria for pollution categories and finalising criteria for allocating ship types, the group also developed a list of pros and cons regarding the implementation of a 3- or 5-category system to Annex II of MARPOL 73/78. The group agreed that the 3-category system provided greater protection to the environment immediately from the entry into force date, and requested the Sub-committee to make a proposal to MEPC on this basis.

In addition to the MARPOL revision work, the BLG sub-Committee also worked on elements of the IMO’s Ship Recycling Guidelines and also further discussed the concept of oil tagging. In the former case the sub-Committee has concentrated on identifying hazardous substances on-board vessels with an emphasis on the cargo waste and relevant information which can be passed to the recycling yard regarding any residues that may remain on board. The sub-Committee decided that the issue of oil tagging should remain on the BLG agenda although there was little information made available at this meeting. The UK will come with further information on the trials currently underway at the next BLG meeting in 2003.

A more detailed article on the deliberations of the Annex I working group will be given in the coming Weekly NEWS.

Contact: Captain Howard Snaith