European Delays on Single Hull Harmonization Regs

Monday, July 12, 2004
It is now more than seven months since the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee adopted amendments to MARPOL's single hull rules for tankers, so says INTERTANKO.

Despite the obvious benefits of alignment of the European single hull regulation with these rules, the European Union has still not formally concluded this work, which INTERTANKO finds unacceptable.

INTERTANKO has sent another reminder to the European Commission this week, adding that the European complaints about the lack of speed in IMO now ring hollow.

Following the Prestige accident, the European Union adopted Regulation 1726/2003 (accelerated single hull tanker phase-out, carriage of heavy grade oils in double hulls, condition assessment). This Regulation took effect in Europe on 21 October 2003, before the IMO discussion on the same issues could reasonably be concluded. The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted amendments to Regulation 13G and produced Regulation 13H to Annex I of MARPOL on 4 December 2003 [Resolution MEPC.111(50) and Resolution MEPC.112(50)].

In a message to the European Commission in February 2004, INTERTANKO underlined that tanker shipping should be governed by the same regulations internationally, otherwise uncertainty and confusion may arise which would be counterproductive to the purpose of ensuring safe shipping. We underlined that it was therefore in the interests of safety to ensure that the European Regulation 1726/2003 should take into account the MEPC conclusions.

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