Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tank Vessel News

USCG Codifies Single Hull Phase-out Requirements

In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the USCG proposes to clarify and codify a policy it issued in April 1999 regarding phase-out dates for single hull tank vessels. OPA 90 includes requirements for double hull tank vessels and phase-out schedules for all single hull tank vessels operating in U.S. waters. Tank vessel owners are required to remove single hull tank vessels from service on a specific date, depending on such factors as the vessel's gross tonnage, age and hull configuration. These timetables are found in USCG regulations, and allow a tank vessel with double sides or a double bottom to remain in service longer than a vessel with a full single hull.

USCG Codifies Single Hull Phase-out Requirements

In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the USCG proposes to clarify and codify a policy it issued in April 1999 regarding phase-out dates for single hull tank vessels. OPA 90 includes requirements for double hull tank vessels and phase-out schedules for all single hull tank vessels operating in U.S. waters. Tank vessel owners are required to remove single hull tank vessels from service on a specific date, depending on such factors as the vessel's gross tonnage, age and hull configuration. These timetables are found in USCG regulations, and allow a tank vessel with double sides or a double bottom to remain in service longer than a vessel with a full single hull.

Hearing on Spills from non-tank Vessels

On December 18, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will conduct a hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels. Among the issues to be addressed are the adequacy and enforcement of vessel response plans for non-tank vessels and the adequacy of non-tank vessel liability limits. (HK Law)

Tank Vessel Construction Assistance Program Launched

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is soliciting competitive proposals for construction in the United States of new product tank vessels necessary to meet commercial and national defense needs of the United States and to be built with assistance under Subtitle D of the Maritime Security Act of 2003. Any U.S. citizen or U.S. shipyard may submit a proposal. Under the National Defense Tank Vessel Construction Program, the new product tank vessels must be not less than 35,000 and not greater than 60,000 deadweight tons. The tank vessels must meet the requirements of foreign commerce; be capable of carrying militarily useful petroleum products…

U.S. Facing Tank Vessel Shortage

The U.S could face a severe U.S.-flag tank vessel shortage unless the pace of double-hulled vessel construction increases drastically, according to an analysis released recently by the Shipbuilders Council of America. At issue is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), which requires single-hulled tank vessels to be phased out of service or converted to double-hulled vessels to reduce the risk of oil spills. Under OPA 90, the U.S. will lose as much as 28 percent of its total existing tank vessel capacity, including 45 percent of all large, ocean-going tank barges, by the end of 2004. The analysis, which takes into account existing construction and orders…

Proposed Rule, Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans

The U.S. Coast Guard announced the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking designed to increase pollution response preparedness for non-tank vessels carrying oil as fuel upon U.S. waters. The proposed rule, entitled "Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Vessel Response Plan Requirements," would establish the content of response plans for oil discharges, helping non-tank vessel owners and operators understand how to comply with preparation and submission requirements for response plans under the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Act of 2004. A non-tank vessel is defined as a self-propelled vessel of 400 gross tons or greater that is not a tank vessel, which operates on U.S. navigable waters carrying oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion.

Single-Hull Phase Out Guidelines Accelerated

The U.S. Coast Guard issued guidance regarding the impact of accelerated single hull tanker phase-out dates and voluntary compliance with the Condition Assessment Scheme by U.S. tank vessels. The U.S. has reserved its position regarding MARPOL Regulations 13G and 13H. Some U.S. tank vessels, though, make calls in nations that enforce these regulations. The guidance addresses documentation of voluntary compliance by these U.S. tank vessels with the international requirements. MOC Policy Letter 04-11 (HK Law).

CG Authorization Act … The Senate Version

In addition to the proposed amendment to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) [discussed in Friday’s edition of this newsletter], the Senate version of the Coast Guard Authorization Act (S. 733) has other sections of interest. The measure, if enacted, would amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) to require non-tank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater to have vessel response plans (VRPs) similar to those required of tank vessels. It would require a report on, among other things: (1) the domestic and international implications of changing the phase-out date for single hull tank vessels from 2015 to 2010; (2) the costs and benefits of requiring monitoring systems on tank vessels; and (3) a review of safety issues relating to tank barges.

SCA: Prestige Shows Danger of Single Hulls

The Shipbuilding Council of America (SCA) says the sinking of the 26-year old tanker Prestige illustrates the danger of continued operation of single-hulled tank vessels. The accident should serve as a warning to shippers who continue to look for cheap alternatives to modern, double-hull tank vessels. SCA has long been warning of the dangers of continued operation of aged single-hull tank vessels. "Unfortunately, even in the U.S., companies continue to charter older, single-hull tankers similar to the sunken Prestige at discounted rates," stated SCA President Allen Walker. No new product tankers are under construction or on order for the domestic trades. Only 21 product tankers in the U.S.-flag fleet are currently double-hulled and 10 of those vessels are more than 16 years old today.

SCA Says Prestige Sinking Shows Danger

The Shipbuilding Council of America (SCA) says the sinking of the 26-year old tanker Prestige illustrates the danger of continued operation of single-hulled tank vessels. The accident should serve as a warning to shippers who continue to look for cheap alternatives to modern, double-hull tank vessels. SCA has long been warning of the dangers of continued operation of aged single-hull tank vessels. “Unfortunately, even in the U.S., companies continue to charter older, single-hull tankers similar to the sunken Prestige at discounted rates,” stated SCA President Allen Walker. No new product tankers are under construction or on order for the domestic trades. Only 21 product tankers in the U.S.-flag fleet are currently double-hulled and 10 of those vessels are more than 16 years old today.

Salvage & Marine Fire Fighting Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan Regulation Announced

The U.S. Coast Guard has published the long awaited Non-tank Vessel Response Plan (NTVRP) and Other Response Plan regulation in the federal register dated September 30, 2013. Mandatory compliance will be required of all applicable vessels by January 30, 2014. These regulations impact self-propelled non-tank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater that operate in navigable waters of the United States and carry any kind of oil as fuel for main propulsion. The NTVRP requirements for planning of response services are scaled to oil carrying capacity (i.e. risk). Thus, for small non-tank vessels with less oil carrying capacities, there are fewer functional planning requirements. The new rule requires that non-tank vessel owners operating in and out of U.S.

U.S. Vessels Ready to Transport Fuel to Northeast: AMP

Washington, D.C. – With concerns that refinery closures in the Northeast may cause gas prices to increase further, the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) notified the Administration that American vessels have ample capacity to transport petroleum to the region from the Gulf of Mexico. AMP’s letter comes after a federal analysis omitted key data about the domestic shipping industry’s overall capacity. “Today, there is more than adequate American tank vessel capacity to address any additional refinery closures,” the AMP Board of Directors wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Northeastern United States faces possible changes in its petroleum markets because of potential refinery closures.

LR Alert on US Vessel Response Plans for Non-Tank Vessels

Applicability: Non-tank vessels of 400 gt or more of any flag, which are self-propelled, carrying oil of any kind as fuel, and bound for a port or place in the U.S. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has published a Final Rule which took effect on 30 October, 2013, requiring owners or operators of non-tank vessels to submit oil spill response plans (known as Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (NTVRPs)) by January 30, 2014. Non-tank vessels are vessels other than tank vessels. Tank vessels are generally defined as those constructed or adapted to carry oil in bulk as cargo or as oil cargo residue. The NTVRP Rule updates, and aligns with, the existing IMO and US MARPOL Annex I requirements for a Shipboard Oil Pollution and Emergency Plan (SOPEP)…

American Salvage Association to Consider Non-Tank VRP's

One issue on the conference agenda will be the new regulations for Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (VRPs). On March 9, 2013, the OPA 90 Vessel Response Plan regulatory package outlining requirements for non-tank vessels trading in U.S. waters was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), jumping the last hurdle before publication on or around June 9, 2013. The new regulations address the need to identify appropriate response resources, including diving, salvage, firefighting or lightering equipment and personnel, within VRPs. Questions on what this means for response to non-tank vessel casualties will be examined at the conference.

AMP, AWO & Jones Act Operators Weigh In

A letter to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. Department of Energy) from American Maritime Partnership disputes EIA domestic tank vessel estimates. Ms. U.S. U.S. Washington, D.C. Dear Ms. Thank you for meeting with me, leaders of the American Waterways Operators, and senior representatives of four of the leading American tank vessel companies last week. We are gathering, and will soon forward to you, detailed information about the American tank barge fleet. As you know…

USCG Issues Fines for Tank Response Plan Noncompliance

The Coast Guard has issued monetary penalties to three vessel operators in violation of federal regulations related to tank vessel response plan requirements. The vessels Pacific Galaxy, operated by Synergy Maritime PET, Tamar, operated by MTM Ship Management, and Yayoi Express, operated by MOL Tankship Management, have been issued a monetary violation for noncompliance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155 Subpart D in Alaska. Vessel operators can face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, per day. Tank vessels bound to or from a U.S. port and transiting through the Western Alaska Captain of the Port zone must have…

Resolve Salvage & Fire CG Approved for OPA90

Photo courtesy Resolve Marine

Resolve Salvage & Fire (Americas), the emergency response division of international maritime emergency services contractor Resolve Marine Group, announced that the U.S. Coast Guard has approved Resolve to help oil tanker vessel owners comply with new OPA90 requirements by the February 22, 2011 deadline. The USCG has already begun issuing Interim Operating Authorizations (IOA) for tank vessels that cite Resolve in their OPA90 Vessel Response Plans. With an IOA in hand, Resolve client vessels will be permitted to continue carrying  petroleum cargoes in U.S.

Donjon-SMIT Receives TVRP and SMFF Approval

A Donjon-SMIT client has received the first Tank Vessel Response Plan (TVRP) Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) Update Approval issued by the U.S. Coast Guard under the new SMFF regulations. The SMFF regulations, effective as of February 22, 2011, required that plan-holders revise their TVRPs with numerous new salvage and marine firefighting response procedures to be supported by extensive additional contracted response resources. The rules also required documentary evidence of compliance, including an SMFF Contract and Funding Agreement and Vessel Pre-fire Plans. Throughout the TVRP update revision and review process, Donjon-SMIT worked in close cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that all documentation submitted on behalf of Donjon-SMIT clients would meet U.S.

New USCG Policy on Tank Cargo Transfer

USCG revises policy on transfer of cargo by foreign tank vessels The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Houston-Galveston has established a policy governing the transfer of cargo by foreign tank vessels in advance of overdue safety compliance inspection to help minimize cargo transfer delays within the Houston-Galveston (including Texas City, Freeport, Port Arthur and Lake Charles) area of responsibility (AOR), GAC reported. As a result the Cargo Waiver Request form has been revised.  

Extended National Defense Tank Vessel Construction Assistance Program

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a Notice amending the schedule for submittal of competitive proposals for construction of new product tank vessels under the National Defense Tank Vessel Construction Assistance Program. The schedule is being extended by 45 days. Phase I proposals are now due not later than June 18, 2004. Other deadline dates are similarly extended. 69 Fed. Reg. 19896 (April 14, 2004).

Hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels

On December 18, the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries & Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels. Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) noted the success of OPA 90 in reducing spills from tank vessels, but noted that the incidence of spills from non-tank vessels have not declined as much, asking whether standards for these vessels should be strengthened. Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, US Coast Guard, discussed efforts to make fuel tanks on vessels less susceptible to damage and proposed increasing the limit of liability for damages caused by oil spills from non-tank vessels. Ms.

WQIS Prepared for COFR Limit Increase

On July 11, 2006 the President signed into law Title VI of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, which increased the limits of liability for vessels under OPA 90. It also split the tank vessel category into single and double hulls with single hulls having higher limits. Those limits went into effect in 2006. However, the requirement for evidence of financial responsibility required to obtain a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) was not increased at that point. Meaning, existing COFRs remained valid. By a notice in the Federal Register/Vol. 73, No.181/Wednesday, September 17, 2008 the Coast Guard promulgated regulations implementing the new COFR regulations to take effect from January 15, 2009. As of that date, the financial guaranty or insurance to the U.S.

Construction Assistance – update National Defense Tank Vessel

The U.S. Maritime Administration updated its information related to the National Defense Tank Vessel Construction Assistance program. The new information relates to U.S. content requirements, the Capital Construction Fund, and technical requirements. Source: HK Law

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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