Phase-out exemptions for Category 2 & 3 Tankers with Double Bottom / Double Sides – Members’ input sought

As reported in the last few issues of the Weekly NEWS, in early December 2003 IMO will take a final decision on a new set of amendments to MARPOL Annex I Regulation 13G aimed at accelerating the phase-out of single-hull tankers. Consultations will take place before the December meeting, in which INTERTANKO will take an active part. We need, however, information from members to enable us to ascertain the type of Category 2 and Category 3 designs that are now within the INTERTANKO fleet, particularly those that have double bottom and/or double sides.

Currently, the IMO draft amendments to 13G contain a provision that the proposed phase-out dates for Category 2 or 3 tankers will be extended for double bottom / double sides tankers, on the basis that they are more "environmentally friendly". The proposed provisions reads as follows:

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (4) of this regulation in the case of a Category 2 or 3 oil tanker fitted with only double bottoms or double sides not used for the carriage of oil and extending to the entire cargo tank length or double hull spaces which are not used for the carriage of oil and extend to the entire cargo tank length, but do not fulfil conditions for being exempted from the provisions of paragraph (1) (c ) of this regulation, the Administration may allow continued operation of such a ship beyond the date specified in paragraph (4) of this regulation, provided that:

(i) the ship was in service on 1 July 2001;

(ii) the administration is satisfied by verification of the official records that the ship complied with the conditions specified above;

(iii) the conditions of the ship specified above remain unchanged; and

(iv) such continued operation does not go beyond [the anniversary of the date of the delivery of the ship in 2015 or the date on which the ship reaches] 25 years after the date of its delivery, [whichever is the earlier date].

We know of some tankers that have double bottom/ double sides over most of the cargo tank length, but not over the whole of it, e.g. in way of the slop tanks. We have heard of other tankers that have partial double hulls (partial double bottom and/or partial double sides) which would currently not qualify for "extra years".

We would therefore invite members to advise us whether they have a ship that is similarly "environmentally friendly" but does not meet the current definition. Such information would assist us in considering what revision to the text quoted above is desirable to gain recognition for such tonnage.

Contact: Dragos Rauta