INTERTANKO contacts INEA on Maracaibo Channel safety

Reference is made to several recent articles bringing unofficial reports on the status of the navigation buoys in the Maracaibo Channel, together with our article published in Weekly NEWS No. 34/06 dated 25 August 2006 on the introduction of a new Recovery Charge.


INTERTANKO has initiated a direct lobbying effort with the Instituto Nacional de los Espacos Acuaticos (INEA) in Caracas to voice its concerns, on behalf of tanker operators whose vessels navigate this waterway, about sub-standard navigational aids. The combination of inadequate marking of the fairway and the introduction of a Recovery Charge levied to vessels which refuse to proceed through the Channel (for instance at night) causes particular concerns. Masters could be placed under pressure to take the risk of proceeding when confronted with a fee of USD 912 per hour plus 14% VAT for delayed departure.


INTERTANKO thanks its membership for their support in this endeavour to initiate a dialogue with the Venezuelan authorities with the aim of bringing the navigational aids in the Maracaibo Channel up to international safety levels.


INTERTANKO is currently awaiting INEA's response, which we understand could take some time. Click here to view INTERTANKO's letter in Spanish along with a free translation in English. Members will be kept posted on all further developments.


Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen