Both the OCIMF and UK P&I Association have, in the recent past, brought the ever increasing incidence of the captioned problem to the attention of the maritime world.

Given that this problem would most likely impact tanker owners and operators, INTERTANKO has added its concerns to those above and produced advice for members’ guidance, which can be viewed here. In addition to this action, INTERTANKO has addressed the problem by way of a submission to the Bulk Liquid and Gases Sub Committee of IMO, which is meeting 24-28 June 2002, addressing not only these concerns but the general concerns expressed by many members relating to the provision of Marine Safety Data Sheets by cargo interests, click here for more informaton.


It is clearly unacceptable that a tanker is expected to carry a cargo containing hazardous substances and gases without both the crew and owner being aware of the presence of such substances and their extent in the cargo. Hydrogen Sulphide is but one of these hazardous substances that should be declared before a cargo or bunker fuel is delivered on board for the subsequent handling and safe carriage by the ship and her crew. To date owners have had to attempt to find the most appropriate set of data available relating to the diverse cargoes carried but unfortunately each cargo is unique when it concerns the extent of toxic or noxious substances in either a typical MARPOL Annex 1 type cargo or bunker fuel.


SOLAS does not mandate the supply of such data by cargo interests in a specific format which would include a declaration of a concentration of Hydrogen Sulphide in the gas phase. On the basis that knowledge and awareness of dangers can both prevent problems and accidents and limit any impact that these substances may have upon the vessel, INTERTANKO has taken the above action to assist in this issue.