New Compliance Challenges for Tanker Owners

By Eric Haun
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Herbert-ABS says use of an approved damage stability computer program is the “only logical option” to meet new International Maritime Organization (IMO) Damage Stability Regulations requirements for onboard damage stability verification.

Herbert-ABS Software Solutions LLC has published an assessment of the impact of new damage stability regulations on tanker and gas carrier operations.

Hendrik Bruhns, Herbert-ABS Software Solutions President, argues that employing an approved damage stability verification software is the most practical and cost-effective means of demonstrating compliance with the regulations.

The IMO recently adopted guidelines for demonstrating compliance with the requirements for damage stability reporting in April and May 2014 during MEPC 66 and MSC 93. The requirements apply to all oil tankers, as well as gas and chemical carriers engaged in international trade and enter into force on January 1, 2016 for newbuildings. Existing ships must comply by the first renewal survey after this date and by no later than January 1, 2021.

Bruhns said that of the four options for compliance with the amendments, three are either impractical or too expensive to implement. "Owners can in theory meet the requirement using any of the four options available. However, in practice, the logical option is to fit an approved damage stability computer program. We at Herbert-ABS believe that this option provides a solution that will make it easy to demonstrate compliance with the damage stability requirements to the Port State authorities for any cargo loading or ballast distribution."

The IMO amendments were introduced to reflect the fact that on-board compliance documentation is relevant only when ships are loaded in accordance with standard conditions in the approved Stability Booklet. In practice, many tankers are loaded in ways which significantly differ from such conditions.

"Herbert-ABS's CargoMax loading computer, together with the Direct Damage Stability Module fully meets the requirements of IACS URL 5, Type 3, for any type of tank vessel and can demonstrate compliance with the damage stability requirements for all regulations from IMO and national administrations for any type of cargo or ballast loading. It can also be used to demonstrate this compliance to Port State inspectors or vetting surveyors," Bruhns added.

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