Revision of MARPOL Annex 1 - Water in Cargo tanks

INTERTANKO and OCIMF have resubmitted their proposal to IMO 49th MEPC Session (July 2003) to consider the addition of some operations involving the filling of water into cargo tanks of oil tankers to the list of "exceptional cases".

At the 47th Session of the IMO MEPC, INTERTANKO and OCIMF in a joint submission, requested IMO to recognise that the practice of filling water in tankers’ cargo tanks for rafting for ships or for hydrostatic test pressure are not in line with the MARPOL Annex I provisions. Although there was a general agreement with our proposal, some delegations raised concerns on whether the practice of filling tankers cargo tanks with water for either rafting (close up inspection and thickness measurements) or hydrostatic pressure testing would be inappropriate in accordance with the relevant MARPOL Annex I provisions regarding the need to amend MARPOL Convention. It was decided to “sleep on the matter” until the next meeting. Since the matter was not brought up at MEPC 48, INTERTANKO and OCIMF have resubmitted their proposal to IMO 49th Session (July 2003) to consider the addition of some operations involving the filling of water into cargo tanks of oil tankers to the list of "exceptional cases" as referred to in regulation 13(3) of MARPOL Annex I and further clarified in the Unified Interpretation 4.1.1.

Regulation 13(3) of MARPOL Annex I exclusively allows the carriage of ballast water in cargo tanks of new tankers as defined by regulation 1(26) of MARPOL Annex I, when weather conditions are so severe that additional ballast water is deemed necessary for safety of the ship or in some exceptional cases as further clarified in the Unified Interpretation 4.1.1. However, there are other cases when oil tankers (single and double hull) might need to fill water in their cargo tanks as a consequence of surveys required by resolution A.744 (18) on Enhanced Survey Programme.

Click here for a copy of the INTERTANKO/OCIMF submission.

Contact: Dragos Rauta on email: dragos.rauta@intertanko.com