A group of 41 oil majors will
make their tanker inspection reports available to port examiners in Europe. They also aim to ensure higher standards for their shared reporting system as part of a raft of initiatives to ensure greater tanker safety in the wake of the Erika incident. SIRE (ship inspection reports) do not pass or fail vessels on structural issues but concern operating standards. The Paris MOU
is Europe's agreement by which unsafe ships are detained by individual countries' port-based inspectors until repaired.
But it is expected that the European Union to increase sanctions on oil companies as ship charterers in the wake of the pollution affecting France's coast from the TotalFina-chartered tanker Erika which broke up in December OCIMF intends to strengthen its report program to overcome criticism by some oil companies that were not convinced their inspection standards were matched by others. The organization will introduce a system of accreditation by examination for its inspectors by the end of the year.
The vessel inspection program is also being extended to cover smaller vessels that can operate either as petroleum or chemical carriers. Up to 300 such ships operating in northern Europe and the Mediterranean would be affected.