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INTERTANKO Applauds USCG Final Rules Regarding Under-Keel Clearance For Single Hull Tankers

The Coast Guard (USCG) 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 Guards' efforts to revise the regulations to reflect modern watch-keeping and passage planning requirements," saidDagfinn 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. The guidance must include consideration of factors concerning calculation of the ship's draft, anticipated controlling depth, and weather/environmental conditions. It also must 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 be 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 underkeel clearance. An entry must be made in the official log reflecting this discussion of the ship's anticipated passage.

"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 final rule goes into effect on January 21, 1998.

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