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Director's Log

It hardly seems a month since the last newsletter went out. As they say, "time flies when you're having fun".

We’ve certainly had a busy month at OCIMF – someone once told me that everything slows down in the UK during the summer months! We’ve had the MEG4 launch event; published Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs and the information paper Guidelines to Harden Vessels; welcomed Matthew Graham, our new Technical Adviser – Barges; trained Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) and participated in a naval security exercise. You can read more about these in separate articles in the newsletter.

One of the OCIMF objectives is to engage with members and external stakeholders and I want to draw your attention to some examples of what OCIMF has been doing to achieve that lately. First, OCIMF has been building relationships in China over the past couple of years and this recently resulted in a request from the Chinese Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) to help train PSCOs on the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE). SIRE reports are freely available to PSCOs globally, but only a few actually use this facility. The reports can help PSCOs prioritise which vessels to inspect and focus on potential problem areas. OCIMF is currently in discussions with a number of Port State Control organisations globally about providing similar training. OCIMF also participated in a naval security exercise in the USA, where the Maritime Security Adviser acted as industry liaison and provided excellent input to the naval command. Generally, people associate OCIMF engagement with conferences, working groups and the Regional Marine Forums, but these are two good examples of the various other ways that OCIMF engages stakeholders.

I hope you enjoy this month’s articles and wish you a happy and healthy August.

Rob Drysdale
Director OCIMF

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New publication: Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs

OCIMF is proud to present a new publication. Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs offers guidelines, recommendations and best practice for safe cargo handling and associated operations on board F(P)SOs.

It supplements existing guidance in International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT) by addressing activities and procedures that are either outside the scope of ISGOTT or that are conducted differently on F(P)SOs, which often have multiple operations taking place at the same time.

This is the first of two books released by the Offshore Marine Committee (OMC) this year. The second, Guidelines for Offshore Tanker Operations, provides guidance on safe mooring and cargo transfer between offshore terminals and offtake tankers and will be released later this year.

Buy Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs now

New information paper: Guidelines to Harden Vessels

Released on 25 July, the information paper recommends a layered defence methodology for hardening vessels to help prevent unauthorised boarding.

The layers are:

  • First layer: prevents unauthorised access to the vessel.
  • Second layer: prevents or delays access to the accommodation block, stores and machinery spaces.
  • Third layer: prevents or delays access to the citadel, which is a safe location for crews to retreat to if all other defences are breached.

The paper also recommends using a Vessel Hardening Plan and provides an example plan to help ensure vessels are prepared for operations in areas of increased security. Based on lessons learned and best practice, the paper gives owners, operators, managers, Masters, crew, naval architects and shipyards the tools they need to make an informed decision about security measures for their fleet. Although the focus is on vessels when underway, measures are also examined for vessels at anchor and alongside.

This paper complements the recent industry publication Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers and regional best practice guides such as BMP5: Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. It should be read alongside the OCIMF information paper Ship Security – Bridge Vulnerability Study, released in 2014.

Read Guidelines to Harden Vessels

Welcome Matthew Graham

OCIMF welcomes Matthew Graham, who joined as Technical Adviser – Barges on 23 July.

The Technical Adviser – Barges is a new role at OCIMF and Matthew will support the delivery of the barge strategy to raise safety standards of inland barging. Matthew has a wealth of experience working in barge safety at International Marine Transportation (IMT) and ExxonMobil. He began his career at sea in 1997 sailing as a Cadet and then as Marine Engineer Officer in the Mobil Shipping fleet after completing his Bachelor of Engineering Degree (Hons) in Mechanical and Offshore Engineering.

Matthew moved ashore in 2003 in the Technical Services Group in IMT as a Project Engineer supporting marine projects in IMT and in ExxonMobil’s upstream and downstream organisations. He later transitioned into marine quality assurance in IMT as a Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) reviewer, meeting with ship and barge operators to promote and advise on marine quality assurance expectations. A period in marine fuels bunkering the ExxonMobil Affiliate Term Charter fleet developed his knowledge of commercial shipping operations.

Returning to IMT as Senior Marine Quality Assurance Advisor, he was responsible for inland European barge vetting and the European Barge Incident Desk, as well as direct interaction with the industry. As the IMT representative to OCIMF for barge safety issues, Matthew helped develop the European Barge Inspection Questionnaire and was a founding member of the Europe Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group.

Please join OCIMF in welcoming Matthew and wishing him success in his new role.

MEG4 launch event

OCIMF celebrated the release of Mooring Equipment Guidelines, Fourth Edition (MEG4) on board the HMS Belfast in London, UK.

Rob Drysdale (Director, OCIMF) and Steve Clinch (formerly Chief Inspector, MAIB) both spoke about how crucial this new edition is for improving safety in shipping, and warmly thanked everyone who contributed to the publication.

MEG4 example forms now available for download

The recently-published MEG4 provides guidelines on purchasing and testing mooring lines and tails for manufacturers and users. The guidelines help determine the right processes, documents and testing methods for each product.

If manufacturers choose to use these guidelines, OCIMF recommends they provide evidence by completing the example forms found in appendix B of MEG4, including mooring line and tail acquisition forms, proposal forms, certificates and base design certificates.

These fillable forms are now available for free download from the MEG4 website, under the Forms and Studies tab.

Download MEG4 example forms here

OCIMF conducts training for the Chinese Maritime Safety Authority

OCIMF continues to develop and strengthen its relationship with Port State Control Authorities in China.

PSCOs of the China MSA at the Maritime Training Centre with (front row, left to right) Chang Haiqing (MSA Training Centre), Qu Shensen, Ajay Gour, Oliver Pointon, Fu Guoqing (MSA Training Centre).

From 26 to 29 June, OCIMF delivered a training session for PSCOs of the Chinese MSA to support their aim of more effectively targeting ships through SIRE.

Over 25 inspectors representing different MSA zones from all over China attended the week-long training session, delivered by Oliver Pointon (former OCIMF Training and Accreditation Manager), Ajay Gour (OCIMF Inspector Training and Accreditation Manager) and Qu Shensen (a SIRE auditor inspector who also provided language and interpretation support). The session covered all aspects of SIRE and focussed on the benefits and information that the programme provides to Port State Control Authorities, as well as how it ensures efficient and informed targeting of ships.

Such relationships and engagement with national authorities ties in with OCIMF’s strategy to support the implementation and enforcement of international conventions and regulations, as well as industry best practices. OCIMF is honoured to deliver this training and to help enhance standards of shipping in China.

Introduction to MTIS for Spanish speakers

A webinar in Spanish introducing the Marine Terminal Information System (MTIS) to Spanish speakers will be held on 9 August.

The webinar will introduce participants to the basic elements, recent changes, registration process and the benefits of joining the programme. It is hosted by the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Operadores de Terminales Maritimo Petroleros y Monoboyas (SLOM) and is presented by Luiz Filipe Ferreira de Santana (Petrobras).

The webinar starts at 09.00 Colombia Time (COT). To join, fill in the form below and send to

Register for the MTIS webinar

Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia

OCIMF was represented by Russell Pegg (Maritime Security Adviser) at the 21st plenary session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), held at the UN offices in Nairobi, Kenya 12–13 July.

The annual meeting focussed on piracy in the Indian Ocean but also discussed broader issues facing seafarers in the Red Sea due to the conflict in Yemen. The latest edition of the joint industry publication BMP5: Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea was endorsed by the CGPCS.

The plenary session was attended by ministers and diplomats who wish to do more to improve maritime security off the coast of Somalia and the western Indian Ocean. Raychelle Omamo, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence, stated in her opening remarks that “a re-invigorated approach to eradicate piracy in Somalia waters is critical to boost economic growth and stability in the Horn of Africa state.”

The final report from the plenary session can be found here.

Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2018

For the first time, OCIMF participated in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2018.

Russell Pegg and Alexander Walker with members of the USN Operations staff.

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise involving 25 nations, 46 warships, 5 submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. OCIMF was invited to provide industry representatives to join the operations planning staff to ensure transparency between military and industry activity. OCIMF representatives Russell Pegg and Alexander Walker worked alongside the Naval Coordination and Guidance to Shipping (NCAGS) team to ensure a common understanding of maritime requirements. Together, they worked to ensure naval commanders had an accurate picture of shipping industry concerns and the impact of naval activity raised by the various exercise scenarios. This important partnership was a first for OCIMF and will help keep sea lanes open and help ensure the safety of all mariners, both naval and merchant.

SIRE inspector auditors conference

SIRE inspector auditors convened in London on 25–26 July for their 12th annual conference.

These conferences are a vital part of SIRE, and as well as ensuring refresher training for the inspector auditors they also allow the OCIMF team to review and discuss the overall health of the programme.

The conference was hosted by the SIRE training and compliance team at OCIMF and the inspectors participated in healthy discussions on a variety of issues, including improvements to existing questions and guidance, a statistical overview of SIRE, and ongoing learning and knowledge management for inspectors. The OCIMF team also gave the inspector auditors an overview of the Vessel Inspection Programme project.

The auditors play a very important part in ensuring the integrity of SIRE and the training and accreditation of its inspectors.

OVID refresher training courses in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

OCIMF held Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) refresher training courses in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

A full house at the OVID refresher course held in Singapore on 16–17 July 2018

These courses are conducted regularly in different locations around the world and help accredited inspectors keep up their knowledge and skills and ensure that OVID works to the highest standards.

The courses are delivered by the OCIMF Inspector Training and Accreditation Manager and the Technical Adviser – Offshore. Future course dates are available on our website.

OCIMF meeting updates

China Focus Group

27th meeting: 19 June, Shanghai, China (hosted by Shell)

This was the first meeting under the chairmanship of Fuming Luo (Shell) and Vice Chair Youyu Lu (CNOOC). The China Focus Group held its annual training seminar on 20 June for around 75 delegates, with keynote speeches from the OCIMF Technical Adviser – Nautical and the Shanghai Maritime Safety Agency.

Next meeting: TBC

ECDIS Working Group

1st meeting: 4 July, London, UK

The working group elected Vedran Engelbreht (Shell) as Chair and Simon Hughes (Chevron) as Vice Chair. Work started on an information paper to provide guidance on the correct use of ECDIS, following a review of a number of incidents.

Next meeting: 25–26 September, London, UK

Marine Terminal Focus Group

11th meeting: July 11–12, Rome, Italy (hosted by ENI)

The information paper Marine Terminal Information Booklet: Guidelines and Recommendations has been drafted and is expected to be released in Autumn 2018. Good progress was made on the Marine Terminal Information System (MTIS), including adding the site verification guide. A plan is in place to continue to improve MTIS visibility.

Next meeting: February 2019 (TBC)

ISGOTT revision project

2nd meeting: Primary Working Group: 24–25 July, London, UK

Tanker, Marine Terminal, and Interface Working Groups: 25–26 July, London, UK

These meetings provided opportunities for the working groups to further review over 500 observations and comments from members on suggested ISGOTT enhancements, and to provide input to the steering group on progress and direction of future work.

Next meetings: Steering group: 10 September, London, UK

Primary Working Group: 11–12 September, London, UK

Tanker, Marine Terminal, and Interface Working Groups: 12–13 September, London, UK

Top: China Focus Group. 2nd row left: ECDIS Working Group. 2nd row right: Marine Terminal Focus Group. 3rd row: China Focus Group training seminar. 4th row: ISGOTT Primary Working Group. Bottom: ISGOTT Marine Terminal Working Group.

News from the IMO

The intersessional meeting on implementation of the 0.50% maximum sulphur fuel limit regulation in 2020 was held 9–13 July 2018. The key outcomes of the meeting include:

  • A draft Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) circular to provide ship operators, owners and crew members with guidance on implementing Sulphur 2020. The guidance will be a non-mandatory and temporary outline of actions to help achieve compliance by 1 January 2020. The draft guidance identifies potential fuel availability and safety issues and verification mechanisms. It will also be used as a guide by Port State Control Officers when conducting inspections. The guidance has been submitted for consideration at MEPC 73 in October 2018.
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) representative highlighted the need for fuel purchasers to refer to the ISO 8217 specification when ordering fuels, and the safety and operational issues that may result if this specification is not met. The ISO advised that 0.50% sulphur fuels will be categorised within the existing ISO 8217 standard. The publicly available specifications will be published in mid-2019. A statement released by ISO after the intersessional meeting is available on OCIMF’s website.
  • Safety issues regarding low-sulphur fuel oil were identified, including the stability of blended fuel oil; compatibility; cold flow properties; acid number; flash point; ignition quality and catalytic fines. The OCIMF and IPIECA initiative to work with CIMAC, ISO, Energy Institute and other industry organisations to develop technical industry guidance that addresses the potential safety issues related to 0.5% sulphur fuels was supported and encouraged. The aim is to have an initial draft ready for review at the PPR 6 meeting in February 2019.
  • Draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI were developed on the definition of "sulphur content", "low flashpoint fuel", sampling of fuel oil used onboard, and testing and verification procedures for in-use fuel oil samples. Draft amendments to (i) 2009 Guidelines for Port State control under revised MARPOL Annex VI (resolution MEPC.181(59)) and (ii) Guidelines for onboard sampling for verification of the sulphur content of the fuel oil used on board ships (MEPC.1/Circ.864) were further developed.

A full report will be circulated to OCIMF members shortly.

The IMO Council held its 120th session 2–5 July. The following were the key outcomes and decisions:

  • The theme for World Maritime Day 2019 was selected: “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.
  • Proposals were discussed to reform the Council regarding its role in policy making, its membership and term period, public access to discussions and decisions of the Council, and the role of industry bodies and other organisations with IMO consultative status. A working group will consider the proposals at the 121st session in November.
  • The Council has authorised the public release of: audio files from the IMO Assembly plenary meetings; all documents submitted to committee meetings by the IMO Secretariat; and all Council documents held on the IMO Documents website after a period of three years. Industry organisations will have access to the Treaties section. The Council also decided to remove any restrictions on sponsors of documents.