American P&I Club advises the US Coast Guard (USCG) will require compliance with new Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) for certain vessels operating in Western Alaska.
Last year the Alaska Marine Exchange published proposals for new Alternative Planning Criteri which have now been finalized.
Historically, it has not been possible for tank owners operating in Western Alaska carrying oil to comply fully with the vessel response planning requirements of the Oil Pollution Act 1990. In consequence, the USCG allowed waivers in respect of these requirements. That has now changed: with effect from May 14, 2012, oil tank vessel owners and owners of vessels carrying oil as secondary cargo in certain areas of Western Alaska while going to or from a port in the United States will be required to comply with the new requirements. These areas are the areas of Western Alaska outside Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound regions and within 200 miles of the US coastline.
In order to meet the new requirements owners will be required to obtain a Certificate of Participation from Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network and to contract with the OSRO, Alaska Chadux. Evidence that these requirements have been met must be included in the relevant Vessel Response Plan.
Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network (AMPRN)
AMPRN was established to administer the operational and equipment procurement requirements of the APC. Full details of how to obtain a Certificate of Participation are to be found on the AMPRN website.
The fees charged by AMPRN are USD 6,000 per vessel per calendar year for oil tankers and USD 1,800 per vessel per calendar year for vessels carrying oil as a secondary cargo.