We have received requests from several members for information on the ‘Shell - New measures for Ship Quality Assurance’ policy. Having contacted Shell directly, we have received confirmation of their policy and more detailed information as well as a blank copy of their standard letter which is sent to owners showing the information requested.

Below you will find a copy of the confirmation received from Shell and a link to their standard letter:

The confirmation from Shell reads:

1)       The STASCO Ship Quality Assurance Department operates a comprehensive ship vetting programme to protect the interests of the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies. Generally, our inspections are carried out in port during cargo operations when access to a vessel's internal cargo and ballast compartments is restricted.  In order to address this issue, we have introduced additional measures to assist us in better determining the condition of a vessel's structural integrity.   Unlike some of the other majors STASCO has not laid down additional requirements such as CAP ratings and fatigue analysis which place a financial burden upon ship owners, we prefer to gain the structural assurance required through professional assessment of data readily obtainable from owners records and class documentation.  We employ a team of in-house naval architects specifically for this task.

For good order I attach a generic copy of our request letter and the list of information required to make a meaningful assessment. 

We proactively seek this information for vessels over 15 years old, the requests are initiated from this office.  The programme commenced in April 2000 and was initially focussed upon ULCC's and VLCC's but has since been cascaded down the tonnage bands.  Requests are made for data on all vessels in an owners fleet over 15 years of age. 

In  addition we also request the data for single ships, irrespective of age  whenever the content of a SIRE report gives rise to potential concern in chapter seven.  Owners are made aware of the results of the assessment and the date at which further information is required (typically the date of the next special survey). Assessments are made on a case by case basis but it is fair to say we are particularly concerned with corrosion protection systems and the measures taken by owners to ensure their effectiveness.  We also look for a clearly defined steel replacement policy.

2)       None of the information requested is contained in VIQ or VPQ in the detail required.

3)       As you are aware Stasco "vets" each vessel when it is proposed for Shell business.  All information available to us at the time is taken into account during the vetting and steps are taken to close out any matters arising by requesting data from the vessels technical managers.  For example port state control interventions are followed up in this manner as are any incidents or casualties.  These items and our structural review require an owners response in order to close any outstanding issues.   When important items cannot be closed due to lack of information the vessel is rejected.    


We would like to extend our thanks to SHELL for supplying us with the information and the explanation or clarification. INTERTANKO suggests to its members that the supply of such information to Shell would be in order and reminds its members that all such correspondence is in strict confidence between the owner and Shell.

Click here to download copy of the standard letter (Adobe Acrobat .pdf document)