Photo Credit: Stena
Gathering in Miami on 24 July, the third meeting of INTERTANKO's Latin
American Panel covered a wide-ranging and ambitious agenda. Panel
members enjoyed presentations and engaged in discussions on a variety of
Capt. Howard Snaith updated the Panel on recent changes and increased
activity on issues concerning chemical tankers within the Association
and further reported on recent discussions at MEPC 49, which culminated
in a compromise proposal for revisions of MARPOL Annex
II. Of particular
interest to the region, it was reported that Brazil had signed an
agreement for the use of CDI reports for Port State Control purposes. It
was agreed that INTERTANKO would encourage other countries in the region
to use both CDI and SIRE reports, either through the Viña del Mar - the
Latin American Agreement
on Port State Control - or by direct contact
with maritime authorities in each country.
With recent political unrest affecting both oil prices and tanker trades
world wide, the Panel was eager to hear the latest news from Venezuela.
Unfortunately, our invited guests from PDV Marina were unable to attend
due to last minute changes in their schedule but Mr. José Peraza was
able to summarise the current situation in the country.
With regard to oil production and tanker activity, the situation is
slowly recovering normal functionality. Varying reports claim oil
production levels between 2.5 mbd and 3.4 mbd and refineries are more or
less operating at full capacity.
It was recognised by the Panel that a lack of information from official
sources had prevented many owners from sending their ships to Venezuela
for a longer period than necessary. It is important for members to
double-check and re-confirm existing information and contacts. PDVSA has
gone through significant organisational changes and no longer exists as
one single entity, responsibilities and personnel having been
re-structured both on a functional and geographical level.
Managing Director, Dr. Peter Swift, gave a presentation on INTERTANKO's
activities since the sinking of Prestige in November last year, with
particular emphasis on the accelerated phase-out of single-hull tankers,
transport of heavy oils and the extension of CAS following MEPC 49 the
previous week. The Panel took note of the various phase-out proposals
and engaged in discussions to seek clarification on several issues. The
Latin American region would be particularly affected by changes to the
regulations of transport of heavy oils, as 70% of the total production
and trade in heavy crude oils which fall within the scope of the
proposed regulations is concentrated in this one region.
As an oil producing region, it is also important that operators and
authorities are aware of and cooperate with regard to the protection of
the environment. As a member of INTERTANKO's Environmental Committee,
Mr. Carlos Juan Madinabeitia was invited to give a presentation on the
Committee's current activities, in which he emphasised the particular
importance of many of these issues for oil exporting countries in the
region. Ballast water treatment and reception facilities were singled
out as priorities and INTERTANKO was encouraged to continue its efforts
and expand the interaction with national delegations at IMO.
One of the aims of the Panel has been to establish contact with Port
State Control authorities in the region and identify issues of common
interest. Panel members were therefore particularly pleased to welcome
Mr. Eduardo Cutropia, who gave a presentation on behalf of Viña del Mar
- the Latin American Agreement on Port State Control. From a total of
661 tankers inspected in 2002, 19 were detained - equivalent to 2.87%,
which is better than the 3.33% average across all shipping segments.
As an increasing number of charterers have implemented CAP requirements
for different categories of tankers, Mr. Tom Nolan of ABS Consulting was
invited to give a presentation on the SafeHull Condition Assessment
Program. Mr. Nolan explained how the program includes fatigue analysis
and buckling checks and is continually adjusted to industry
Finally, INTERTANKO's representative in Washington DC, Mr. Dragos Rauta,
had been invited to give an update on a variety of activities in the US
such as maritime security, ship owners' liability in case of a terrorist
attack, emissions from Category 3 engines, tank level and pressure
monitoring and USCG campaign on oily water separators.
Unfortunately, time and an ambitious agenda did not allow the Panel
meeting to discuss all these topics in depth but copies of all the
presentations are available on the INTERTANKO web site .