North American Panel 14th Meeting, 23 October 2003, Washington DC

As previously reported, the INTERTANKO North American Panel met in WashingtonDC on 23 October 2003 under the chairmanship of Mr. Richard du Moulin. The following is a summary of some of the decisions taken:

Mr John Tavlarios elected for INTERTANKO Council - Mr. Tavlarios, President and CEO of General Maritime Management LLC, was unanimously elected as member of the Council, one of seven representing INTERTANKO US members.

US Coast Guard/INTERTANKO Partnership Agreement – RAdm. Thomas Gilmour, Assistant Commandant for Security, Safety and Environmental Protection, has responded positively to an INTERTANKO suggestion for additional joint projects between the USCG and INTERTANKO under the Partnership Agreement programme. These would be (a) monitoring & analysing USCG/PSC finds onboard tankers (structure & machinery) and (b) navigational safety at US ports and terminals. USCG and INTERTANKO might also have a formal exchange on the results of INTERTANKO’s work to provide Guidelines for correct entries in the Oil Record Book.

Maritime Security – Taking advantage of RAdm. Gilmour’s presence and of the fact that the USCG published the Final Rule a couple of days before the meeting, NAP had an extensive exchange on various aspects of these new requirements. Although the Final Rule did not respond to or clarify all of the industry’s previous comments and questions, it was unanimously understood and agreed that there would be a need for an open exchange of information, consultation and cooperation to correct, improve and make all provisions of these regulations as practical as possible. RAdm. Gilmour encouraged ship operators to report back on their experiences and, if possible, suggest improvements. RAdm. Gilmour also pointed out that the US would recognise ISPS Certification by the ship’s Flag but would aggressively check compliance through their PSC/Matrix system. This procedure is accepted by most of the US politicians even though some of them had engaged in a campaign to require ISPS certification by the US of foreign Flag ships.

Average Most Probable Discharge (AMPD) – As previously reported, INTERTANKO and the USCG exchanged views on how to avoid duplication of resources in case of an oil spill drill on the ship when it is at a terminal. NAP considered that, based on the USCG response to INTERTANKO letter, tanker operators could assume for planning purposes (as part of the VRPs) that terminal resources would be made available in case of a spill while the ship is at berth, but that the situation remains unclear with respect to drills. The INTERTANKO Secretariat would, however, continue to assess this issue and we would encourage members to report on this matter.

Insurance and shipowners’ liability in case of a terrorist attack – The lack of proper insurance in case of a terrorist attack was recognized by all participants. There is no simple solution and the agreement was that both the industry and the regulators should keep raising awareness of this issue with the US Congress.

Next meeting – NAP 15 will be held in conjunction with the CMA 2004 Conference in StamfordConnecticut on 22 March 2004.

Contact: Dragos Rauta