High-level expert panel report and recommendations on double-hulled tankers published

The panel of experts which the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) requested and sponsored to discuss safety aspects of the double hull tankers has just published a report of its work.

The background of the discussions stemmed from EMSA’s perceived need to have an assessment of experience with building and with operating double hull tankers. Whilst the introduction of the double-hulled tanker had undoubtedly led to a reduction in pollution, EMSA understood that the introduction of the double-hulled tanker shold not be perceived as the panacea for all tanker ills, and wished to facilitate discussion over whether further refinements to the stringent safety regime were still possible and desirable. It felt that such a subject should be the subject of informed debate by the industry and the regulators, who eventually could initiate pro-active measures assumed to lead to further improvements in tanker safety and protection of the marine environment.

The Panel,  comprised INTERTANKO, the Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF), the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, the Community of European Shipyards’ Associations (CESA), the European Commission and EMSA. It met six times in the period April 2004 to April 2005, and its work resulted in a 42 page report which has just been published.

The report contains 8 specific recommendations which need to be followed up by regulators and industry. These touch on accelerated structural corrosion in the cargo and water ballast tanks, the lack of mandatory standards for coating application, the lack of mandatory requirements for coating the top and the bottom of the cargo tanks' structure and on monitoring and surpervision during construction.

It is believed that actionning such recommendations would further ease the challenges of operating double-hulled tankers.

The report can be seen here

Contact:Dragos Rauta