The INTERTANKO North American Panel (NAP) held its 12th meeting in Stamford Connecticut in conjunction with this year’s Connecticut Maritime Association Event. The Chairman, Richard du Moulin, welcomed the 30 participants and suggested a moment of silence “in memoriam” of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack. As previously reported, the NAP 11th meeting took place in Washington D.C. on September 11 under that day’s dramatic circumstances.

Stephen van Dyck, Chairman of Maritrans Transportation Inc., was elected Vice Chairman. and appreciation was expressed for the support and the contribution of the two previous Vice Chairmen that had completed their term of office, Mr Craig Stevenson and Mr Ed Roland. Dragos Rauta received a warm welcome as the new North American Representative and Panel Secretary. The Panel expressed gratitude to its immediate past Secretary and North American Representative, Svein Ringbakken for his dedicated work during the first years of the NAP Panel and the opening of INTERTANKO US office in 1999.

The participants had the opportunity to listen to an excellent presentation from Mr. Jeff Goetz (Poten & Partners) on the Tanker Market Outlook, which was followed by a round-table discussion on the market situation.

The agenda of the meeting included an overview by INTERTANKO MD Peter Swift, the latest developments on the new protocol for an optional third tier of compensation presented by the Deputy MD Svein Ringbakken and a few selected issues from the agenda of the INTERTANKO Council meeting in April (newbuilding standards, coating of cargo tanks, air pollution from ships, etc.) presented by the INTERTANKO Technical Director Dragos Rauta. Tim Wilkins gave a presentation on several items on the INTERTANKO Environmental Committee agenda, i.e. ballast water management, TBT, reception facilities and ship recycling.

Svein Ringbakken presented a new pilot programme recording shipmasters’ experience from different terminals around the world. This programme will soon be launched for the entire membership affording the opportunity to share information on significant experiences with the ship terminal interface. This includes positive reporting too.

INTERTANKO's US legal counsel Jonathan Benner gave an update on the Association’s work in Washington DC and particularly pointed to continued concerns with regard to individual states' activity potentially undercutting Federal USCG programmes. He also outlined INTERTANKO’s work with regard to ballast water management, air emission issues, port and maritime security, user fees for ports and marine insurance.

Waterways management issues and INTERTANKO's efforts in this regard were covered by Bill Gray. It was agreed that INTERTANKO should carry out an update of the 1996 Ports and Terminal Safety Study.

The Panel had the privilege of hearing a presentation by Capt. Michael Karr of the US Coast Guard on the developments within the Post and Ship Security rulemaking process. The USCG are expected to issue a NAVIC (guidelines) with recommendations for port and ship security plans. This would not be mandatory, but would anticipate the US expectations on the scope and content of international regulations currently being discussed in IMO.

Roger Holt, the Managing Director of INTERCARGO, as a NAP guest, gave an update on their experience with the Mississippi Exclusive Tug Contracts for the bulk carriers operators, which has an impact on the fees for tanker owner operators and constitutes a precedent that may be adopted by liquid terminals.

The Panel was also briefed by Rear Adm. North on two important activities within the US scene, namely work on seafarers’ recruitment and retention and the next meeting of the MARE FORUM that is scheduled for October this year in Houston.

Contact: Dragos Rauta, e-mail: