India introduces age restrictions on tankers

The Indian Directorate General for Shipping has recently issued new minimum guidelines for charterers and oil terminal operators when chartering foreign flag tankers. The guidelines cover all types of tankers and include requirements on age, class and CAP 2 ratings (for vessels over 20 years). The guidelines are set to come into force on 1 September 2003.

INTERTANKO is concerned at the extent of the new guidelines and the fact that they come into force so promptly and are discriminatory towards foreign flag ships. We are seeking clarification and dialogue with Indian authorities.

The full text of the circular reads:

 “S.D. CIRCULAR NO.7 OF 2003

The possible environmental hazard from sub-standard foreign flag oil tankers calling at Indian  Ports has been engaging the attention of this Directorate for some time. Many countries have decided to tighten inspection campaign of oil tankers regardless of their age, in order to check entry of sub-standard oil tankers within the Port limits.

2. This issue has been deliberated at length with the charterers of oil tankers and oil terminal operators on 08th April, 2003 and 06th June, 2003 at this Directorate. They have readily accepted the concern of the Administration and after careful consideration of their views, it has been decided that the following minimum guidelines need to be adhered to by the charterers and oil terminal operators while in chartering of foreign flag oil tankers.

  1. Crude oil carriers with  SBT / PL - below 25 years age
  2. All product tanker with SBT/  PL - below 25 years age
  3. Chemical Tankers - below 25 years  age
  4. Gas Tankers to fully comply with GC/IGC Code - below 30 years age
  5. All tankers must be classed with major IACS Society, or the Indian Register of shipping.
  6. All tankers above 20 years must have at least CAP 2 rating (for hull, machinery and cargo equipment) from IACS.
  7. Tanker Charterers and Oil Terminals shall exercise due diligence in ensuring The quality of tankers in chartered.

4. The above guidelines for contracts /charters shall come into force from the 01st September, 2003.”