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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

INTERTANKO Applaudes Coast Guard Under-Keel Clearance Regulations

The Coast Guard yesterday issued final regulations concerning the under-keel clearance requirements for single hull tank vessels entering or leaving U.S. ports.

"These rules are dramatically different than those issued by the Coast Guard late last year. I applaud the Coast Guard’s efforts to revise the regulations to reflect modern watch-keeping and passage planning requirements", said Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director of INTERTANKO.

The regulations provide that: the owner and operator of a single hull tanker furnish the master with written under-keel clearance guidance. This guidance must include consideration of factors concerning calculation of the ship’s draft, anticipated controlling depth, and weather/environmental conditions. This guidance must also stipulate under what conditions the owner and operator should be contacted prior to entering port or getting underway. If no such guidance is provided, a statement to that effect must provided.

The regulations also require that the master and pilot plan the ship’s passage. This passage planning must be discussed by the master and the pilot and must include the ship’s planned transit, including the anticipated under-keel clearance. An entry must be made in the official log reflecting this discussion of the ship’s anticipated passage.

INTERTANKO had taken the lead on addressing this issue before the Coast Guard. INTERTANKO had petitioned the Coast Guard to reconsider the original rulemaking and had commenced litigation against the Coast Guard in an effort to force withdrawal of the rule.

"The final rule vindicates INTERTANKO’s stance that regulations must be both effective and based on sound operating and management experience. We believe that the Coast Guard has taken those steps with this regulation," said Richard du Moulin, Chairman of INTERTANKO and President of Marine Transport Lines. The waterways and the marine environment will be better protected because of the improvements in the rules.

The final rule goes into effect on 21 January 1998.

For more information contact:
Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director INTERTANKO
Direct Line: +47 22 12 26 50
Mobile: +47 92 49 61 17

C. Jonathan Benner, INTERTANKO’s US Legal Counsel, Partner, Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellot
Tel: +1 202 659 6600