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Director's Log

On Friday 13 April, after considerable debate during the week, only 2 of the 173 International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states officially reserved their position on an initial strategy for reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping.

OCIMF congratulates the IMO for adopting this initial strategy, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work by at least 40% by 2030 (aiming for 70% by 2050) compared to 2008; and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions compared to 2008 by at least 50% by 2050. International shipping now has a clear understanding of what it must achieve and by when. Further discussion will be held to develop a final strategy, which will be presented at a Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in 2023. The shipping industry is very much a part of the solution to the climate change challenge, and the adoption of the initial strategy demonstrates its commitment to playing its part while continuing to deliver safe, secure and environmentally responsible shipping to the world. For more about the committee meeting and the GHG strategy, see the MEPC update below.

Our industry tends to take great strides forward in safety and environmental performance – the agreement at the IMO this month is one for environment. The sinking of the Titanic – probably the greatest maritime disaster of our time – occurred 106 years ago on 15 April. The International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was adopted in response and is generally regarded as the most important international treaty concerning merchant shipping safety.

Stay safe,

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF

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Ports and Terminals Committee

The Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) held their 88th meeting on 18–19 April in Singapore.

The meeting was hosted by Phillips 66 and led by the new Chair, Eric Vincent from Hess. Kevan McGregor (Shell) was elected as Vice Chair to replace Eric. Thanks was given to the outgoing Chair, Andy Glass (BP).

The busy agenda included status updates from the three sub-committees (the Marine Terminal Focus Group, Ship to Ship Focus Group and Marine Structures and Civil Engineering Focus Group) and on various publication working groups including the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT). Member presentations included lessons learned and new developments in wind rotor technology. The PTC also reviewed priorities for the next six months.

The next PTC meeting is scheduled for 17–18 October and will be hosted by Hess in Houston, USA.

Back row, left to right: Rakesh Dhir (Conoco Phillips); Derek Thompson (Phillips 66); Kevan McGregor (Shell); Ahmed Salem Al Shawi (ENOC); Rob Drysdale (OCIMF); Frank-Jan Thijssen (Vopak). Middle row, left to right: Garry Hallett (BP); Brian McKay (INEOS); Tony Pollock (INEOS); Mahesh Singh (Phillips 66); Zubin Bhada (Woodside); Emad Talhah (Aramco); Mike Sitts (Chevron); Luciano Maldonado (Petrobras). Front row, left to right: Anuj Gupta (IMT); Eric Vincent (Hess); Jeff Bayham (ExxonMobil); Imran Khan (Excelerate); Salvatore Bianca (ENI); Patrick Vantenat (Total).

Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting at the IMO

The OCIMF IMO delegation attended the 72nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held at IMO Headquarters on 9–13 April 2018.

Below are some of the meeting’s key highlights and decisions.

The 72nd MEPC Meeting at IMO Headquarters in London, UK. Photo courtesy of the IMO

Greenhouse Gas emissions strategy

As mentioned in the Director’s Log, an initial Greenhouse Gas (GHG) strategy for reducing emissions from international shipping was adopted at the MEPC. The strategy set targets for reducing emissions and commits to phasing out GHG emissions as soon as possible this century.

Following extensive debates, about 70 member states voiced support for the initial strategy and two member states (the US and Saudi Arabia) officially reserved their position against the strategy. All other member states did not object to the strategy, although some did voice some concerns.

Some of the main issues contested during drafting of the initial strategy were:

  • Inclusion of absolute targets.
  • Inclusion of the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR and RC). CBDR and RC is based on the idea that more industrialised states should have greater responsibility to address climate change because they are likely to have contributed more to the climate change challenge.
  • Impact of the strategy on states.
  • Alignment of the strategy with the Paris Agreement.

A fourth intersessional working group was set up to meet 3–7 September 2018 to discuss follow-up actions. As part of OCIMF’s mission to improve safety and environmental performance, OCIMF will continue to monitor and assess the strategy, and proactively advise the IMO of any identified safety implications.

Air pollution and energy efficiency

The committee approved:

  • Amendments to regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI, and the form of the Supplement to the IAPP Certificate, that ban carrying non-compliant fuel oil (oil with higher than 0.5% sulphur content).
  • Best practice for quality assurance by purchasers/users of on-board fuel oil.

The committee instructed the correspondence group on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) to consider how ships that are strengthened for ice classes higher than IA Super should be excluded from EEDI regulations.

Ballast Water Management System

The committee approved:

  • Amendments to regulation B-3 of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention on the implementation schedule of BWM for ships; a BWM System Code and amendments to regulations A-1 and D-3 of the BWM Convention, which make the code mandatory; and amendments to regulations E-1 and E-5 of the BWM Convention on endorsements of additional surveys on the International Ballast Water Management Certificate. These will enter into force on 13 October 2019.
  • Amendments to the IBC Code and BCH Code concerning the model form of the International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk, which will enter into force on 1 January 2020.
  • The 35th Ballast Water Working Group on Active Substances (GESAMP-BWWG) meeting, which is scheduled for 4–7 June 2018.

Other news

  • The committee approved a work item to develop a set of guidelines to reduce the risks of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) in Arctic waters; and a ban on the use and carriage of HFO as fuel in Arctic waters, subject to an impact assessment.
  • The committee encouraged Member States to continue to share their experiences in reducing underwater noise from ships, and on the environmental impact of ship grey water.
  • The committee approved marine plastic litter as a new work item and invited delegations to submit advocacy or information papers on the issue.

OCIMF members are invited to contact Sam Megwa for additional information or support on the above or any IMO issues.

OCIMF's Chairman Mark Ross (centre) and Director Andrew Cassels (right) joined Deputy Director and Chief Representative to the IMO Sam Megwa (left) as the OCIMF IMO delegation to witness opening proceedings at MEPC 72.

Ajay Gour joins as OCIMF Training and Accreditation Manager

We would like to welcome Ajay Gour, who joined as OCIMF Training and Accreditation Manager on 3 April. Ajay replaces Oliver Pointon, who after ten years in the role has decided to retire.

Ajay joins OCIMF from INTERTANKO, where he was Senior Manager of Chemicals, Vetting and Marine. Ajay started with Mobil Shipping in 1988 and has over 25 years of experience in the shipping industry, sailing on tankers and oil-bulk-ore carriers.

Ajay holds a Masters’ degree in Shipping Trade and Finance from CASS Business School in London where he graduated with specialisations in strategy and international business, chartering, marine insurance and shipping law. In 2003, Ajay set up and ran both a successful private business school and a private business.

With INTERTANKO, he developed regulations and best practice guidance and provided the industry with wide-ranging operational advice. His work has given him a deep understanding of current industry issues, regulations, oil company marine assurance processes, port state control, chemical, technical, operational and safety issues and the human factor.

Farewell Oliver

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Oliver Pointon for his significant contribution during his time as OCIMF Training and Accreditation Manager.

Oliver will be greatly missed by the entire team and the many SIRE inspectors he has trained. All the best in your retirement, Oliver.

Europe and Africa Regional Marine Forum

OCIMF are pleased to announce the provisional agenda for the Europe and Africa Regional Marine Forum on Tuesday 19 June.

The Regional Marine Forum coincides with INTERTANKO’s 2018 Annual Tanker Event (18–22 June) and takes place at the Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel in Rome, Italy. Final details of the agenda will be announced shortly on our website, but presentations will include:

  • A review of the vessel Zarga incident.
  • Updates on OCIMF publications including Mooring Equipment Guidelines, 4th edition (MEG4); Guidelines for Offshore Tanker Operations; Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs and ISGOTT.
  • Discussions and updates on OCIMF programmes, including the Marine Terminal Information System, SIRE and OVID.
  • Best practice and lessons learned, including:
    • LifeSavers: Safety culture change to a zero harm state of mind.
    • Direct damage stability calculations: Implementation challenges.
    • Eni emergency preparedness and response in the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
    • Safety and management of migrants in the mediterranean.

There will be an evening reception for all attendees on Monday 18 June.

Asia Pacific Regional Marine Forum

The agenda for the Asia Pacific Regional Marine Forum is now being finalised and details will be announced soon on our website.

The event will take place on Thursday 14 June at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan with an evening reception on Wednesday 13 June.

All Regional Marine Forums are free to attend and open to both OCIMF members and non-members. Register now to avoid disappointment – sign up using the button below.

OCIMF looks forward to seeing you in Rome and Tokyo.

Register your interest now


In July 2017, OCIMF and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Rob Drysdale visited ReCAAP ISC in Singapore on 20 April, as part of the ongoing collaboration between the two organisations.

Left to right: Nicholas Teo (Deputy Director, ReCAAP); Masafumi Kuroki (Executive Director, ReCAAP); Rob Drysdale (OCIMF); Lee Yin Mui (Assistant Director – Research, ReCAAP).

MEG4 update at SIGTTO panel

Rob Drysdale presented an overview of OCIMF’s forthcoming Mooring Equipment Guidelines, Fourth Edition (MEG4) at the 64th Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) panel meeting in London, UK on 11 April.

Rob also gave an update on the ongoing safe mooring work at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Howard Flegg from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) also presented on the Zarga incident investigation and Robin Collett from Samson Rope followed with a presentation on the new guidance on mooring lines in MEG4.

OCIMF and IMCA collaborate on OVID programme

The Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) Collaboration Committee met for the first time in London, UK on 11 April.

The committee is a collaboration between OCIMF and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). It was set up to analyse current industry issues and revise the inspection question sets for OVID and the Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA). David Vaughn (IMT/ExxonMobil) was nominated as Chair and Pawel Panka (TechnipFMC) as Vice Chair.

Front row, left to right: Mark Ford (IMCA); Faisal Rashid (OCIMF); Pawel Panka, Vice Chair (TechnipFMC); David Vaughn, Chair (IMT//ExxonMobil). Middle row, left to right: Paola Masiello (Saipem); Ramit Gangopadhyay (Shell); Neil McDonald (Subsea7). Back row, left to right: Dennis Janssen (Allseas); Robert Bruce (Chevron).

North America Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group

The 13th meeting of the North America Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group (NAICBFG) was hosted by Total in Houston, USA on 6–7 March.

The meeting was attended by 12 members and 1 member company observer. The group reviewed:

  • Statistics and feedback affecting the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE).
  • Planned updates to the Barge Inspection Questionnaire (BIQ) to improve guidance for inspectors.
  • Plans for the next full BIQ update to encompass USCG Subchapter M requirements.
  • Final plans for the regional CAT3 inspector training seminar.

The group started a review of the Barge Particulars Questionnaire (BPQ) to ensure it is keeping pace with industry. Members also discussed wider matters involving North American barge inspections and operational safety within the region.

The next meeting will be held 3–4 October 2018 in Galveston, USA, and will be hosted by Martin Marine.

From left to right: Patrick McGroggan, Secretary (OCIMF); Karen Bell (Cenovas); Ron Waddell (Phillips 66); Ivan Link (Total); Kenneth Romney (BP); Rakesh Bajaj (Marathon); Ruchir Seth (Tesoro); Joe Francis (Valero); Chris Deslatte (Energy Transfer Partners); Thomas Nadeau (ExxonMobil); Steve Carr (NuStar); Shawn Roberts (Martin Midstream Partners); James Schade (Shell); Rajeev Saini (Chevron).