INTERTANKO Safety, Technical and Environmental Committee (ISTEC) Meeting

As expected, ISTEC had lengthy discussions with respect to the Prestige accident. It was agreed to consider in more detail the newly released IACS Ad-Hoc Audit Report and, with the release of the Accident Investigation and a Spanish Technical Group Report, to try to identify possible corrective actions.

This would also imply a further assessment of the impact of heated cargoes on the tanker structure. It was also reported that the Prestige’s structural “symptom” might have been the result of a low cycle fatigue phenomenon, which had been experienced close to the web frames by some other tankers, although with much less dramatic consequences. It was also decided to suggest that INTERTANKO should consider adding to its membership criteria the requirement that all tankers be registered in one of the major class societies’ emergency services. The view was also expressed that Class Societies should survey all cargo/ballast tanks as ballast tanks, especially spaces adjacent to cargo tanks using means of cargo heating.

ISTEC recommended that the Secretariat suggest to all members a Salvage Procedure that could be included within the company’s ISM Code Procedures. The Procedure had been developed by the ISTEC Chairman, Dr. Mikelis, with the assistance of the London P&I Club and can be viewed on here. ISTEC recommended that careful attention be paid to the details of the new Vessel Security Plan. On the one hand, some parts of the new rules were still unclear (e.g. who makes the vessel security assessment?) and, on the other hand it was still not known who would be qualified to train seafarers and the Security Officer. Caution should be exercised in the selection of a security plan model. There were too many guides under development and, due to the time pressure for a fast implementation of the security rules, owners might chose the wrong model. It was strongly recommended that the Industry cooperate with the IACS Working group on Security.

ISTEC is currently developing a Guide to making correct entries in the Oil Record Book. Mr. Koutris from Roxana Shipping presented a first draft which can be viewed here. This is one follow-up action taken by ISTEC to address the increasing problems of ships being detained and fined in US due to improper functionality, but also aid management of ship oil-water separators in the engine room. A second follow up action will be to consider possible modifications of the oil-water separator concept.

ISTEC took advice on the VDR technology and functionality and discussed the possibility of a “lighter VDR version” that could be installed onboard tankers with a restricted by regulation trading life. The light VDR version has been suggested by INTERTANKO to IMO.

ISTEC has finally endorsed the Newbuilding Awareness Guide, which will soon be made available to members. The Guide will be distributed in both CD ROM and  in printed format. The Guide will have a lay-out that will facilitate the insertion of amendments.

Other items discussed were: Lifeboat Safety, OCIMF Booklet on Ship Fittings for use with Tugs, Marine Safety Data Sheet, EU Directive 1999/32 – Proposed amendments, Coatings on cargo tanks, Means of Access for Inspections, Ballast Water Management, Anti-fouling systems and Ship Recycling

Contact: Dragos Rauta