INDEPTH REPORT FROM IMO BULK LIQUIDS AND GASES MEETING 24/28 June

The report includes updates on the revision of Annex 1 to MARPOL, accidental oil outflow performance, marine safety data sheet for Annex 1 cargoes and bunkers.

Last week we summarised the main issues addressed at BLG.  Follows is a more detailed report of the deliberations of the Annex 1 Working Group.

 

1/ Revision of Annex I to MARPOL.

 

The revision process for the current form of Annex I of MARPOL is now approaching its finishing stages.  This work started within IMO about 7 years ago with a view to simplifying, organising and removing out dated sections of the Annex.  At this meeting of BLG 7 the working group reviewed the final work product from the Correspondence Group together with the IOPP Certificate and the required format of Parts 1 and 2 of the Oil Record Book so as to bring them in line with current requirements and needs.

 

The original format and Regulation numbering of Annex 1 has been changed significantly so that the Regulations are more logically placed in sequence by topic.  Thus, for example, the original Regulations 13F and 13G are now Regulation 19 and 20 respectively.  The revised Annex also includes a new Regulation 21 entitled “Accidental oil outflow performance” which will apply to vessel built 3 years after the entry into force of the revised Annex and replace the existing Regulation – now Regulation 23 – entitled “Hypothetical outflow of oil”.

 

Because of this revision there are two new categories of tanker with the first being those tankers built between 1 February 2002 and “the date of entry into force of the revised Annex 1 plus 36 months”.  The second new category is those tankers built “after the date of entry into force of the revised Annex 1 plus 36 months”. The impact of this new outflow assessment will be in the design of the combination carriers which will still have a different index of compliance than a straight oil tanker. This index was agreed at BLG to start at 0.021 reducing towards 0.015 depending upon the size of the combination carrier – see below.

 

The IOPP certificate has had the old Section 9 removed from it which referred to the old category of Chemical tankers.  This was thought to be confusing and causing certain problems with regard to PSC interpretations.

 

All this work will be finally reviewed at BLG 8 next year for sending on to MEPC and the Diplomatic Conference in 2003.

 

2/ ‘Accidental oil outflow performance’

 

At BLG the working group reviewed the outline model developed by a correspondence group.  The work undertaken was aimed at moulding the outline model into the form of a regulation for insertion into the revised Annex 1 (see above) taking into consideration concerns relating to outflows from OBO vessels.  This latter item created some degree of debate but was subsequently solved by consensus with a mean outflow factor of 0.015 being used for tankers and a starting factor of 0.021 for smaller OBO vessels. 

 

This work is not totally completed as there still remains the drafting of both the “Explanatory Notes” and Example calculations that will be appended to the revised Annex 1. 

 

The model used in this Regulation is a simplified methodology as used for the assessment of the environmental performance of alternative designs to double hull as given in Annex I of MARPOL. It is important to understand this methodology as it may very well be the form of model or calculation methodology that will be used when considering the issue of protective location of Bunker tanks onboard all vessels.

 

3/ Marine Safety Data Sheet for Annex 1 Cargoes and Bunkers

 

INTERTANKO presented its paper requesting consideration for the mandatory supply of an MSDS for each individual (as distinct from the current generic format) Annex 1 type cargo and bunker as loaded onboard Tankers.  Prior to this presentation Denmark requested similar action with respect to Annex II type chemical cargoes.

 

The INTERTANKO request received wide support from both Flag States and from OCIMF given the recent increase in occurrences of H2S gas in both Bunkers and crude oil cargoes.

 

As a result of both the Danish and INTERTANKO submissions it was decided that separate MSC circulars would be compiled regarding these issues, however, making the supply of an MSDS voluntary.  In addition INTERTANKO was requested to present a co-sponsored paper with OCIMF at BLG 8 containing a suggested outline for a guideline document regarding the content of such an MSDS for Annex 1 cargoes and bunkers together with a pro-forma format of a suitable MSDS.

 

Given this decision both INTERTANKO and OCIMF are reviewing the possibility to submit a paper to the Marine Safety Committee again requesting the mandatory supply of MSDS.

 

Comments regarding this issue are invited from Members.

Contact: Tim Gunner, e-mail:timjg@online.no