Director's Log

David Cotterell

Welcome to the third edition of the OCIMF monthly Newsletter. Throughout the month of May, the Secretariat and involved member representatives were once again kept busy with both regulatory and internal meetings. May opened with the 14th Plenary Meeting of the UN Contact Group, which addressed the question of piracy off the Coast of Somalia. OCIMF were represented in the meeting and the communiqué reporting the progress made can be downloaded via this link .

Also, at the IMO the month opened with the 44th session of the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training & Watchkeeping (STW 44), where the Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances (OPRC-HNS) was discussed. The 65th Meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee followed shortly after. The Annual Seatrade Awards were presented on 10 May, for which OCIMF formed part of the judging panel selecting the winners. OCIMF was involved in assessing the entries in the following categories: Safety at Sea, Clean Shipping, Innovation in Ship Operation and Investing in People, therefore forming a good representation of OCIMF's contributions to the sector.

We also visited China to finalise our Memorandum of Understanding with the China Classification Society on arrangements to translate OCIMF technical publications into Mandarin - beginning with the 3rd Edition of Effective Mooring. Whilst in Beijing, OCIMF also assisted the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in holding their first tanker safety conference for domestic operators. The event was very well attended and well received. The event planning and delivery was completed with the full support of the OCIMF China Focus Group, and I would like to convey my particular thanks to Tony Lian of BP Shipping, Anthony Sim of IMT, Clive Blackmore and Hing Cheung Chui of STASCO for contributing to the event's success. The event marks a milestone in that it delivered an Executive Committee strategic priority to raise tanker standards in China.

I am pleased to see increasing interest in the newsletter, with more and more members choosing on-line subscriptions month on month. Please do not forget this is a two-way communication tool; we would welcome short articles of interest from any of our member companies. This Forum is all about information sharing. Please continue to subscribe and send comments and articles to [email protected].


Excom's 71st meeting hosted in Kuwait for the first time

Kuwait Oil Company have supported the work of OCIMF for many years, and their representative Captain Ahmad Al-Rasheed is a long serving member of the Executive Committee. Over the years, biannual Executive Committee meetings have been held in countries around the world; the 71st meeting was, however, the first Executive Committee meeting to be hosted in Kuwait. The Kuwait Oil Company were fantastic hosts, and ensured the meeting will remain in the Committees' memory for the foreseeable future. A dinner was hosted aboard the Al Hassimi II, the world's largest traditionally built wooden ship (at 88 metres long), which proved to be both a unique and fascinating venue.

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The Executive Committee meet to provide strategic direction, review the work programme, and provide governance and oversight to guide the management of the forum. Opening this meeting was OCIMF Chairman John Ridgway, who welcomed the newly elected Directors, Marit Lunde of Statoil and John Dabbar of ConocoPhilips, who were attending their first Executive Committee. In this meeting the Executive Committee:

  • Noted the closure of all priorities from the 2008 strategic review;
  • Monitored and assessed implementation plans and opening actions to deliver Strategy 2020 as defined in the latter part of 2012;
  • Noted the onerous schedule of introduction of shipping environmental regulation expected to 2020;
  • Noted the good progress and successful trial of the MTISC centre in Ghana;
  • Received the progress reports of the General Purposes, Ports and Terminals, Offshore and Legal Committees and prioritised the future work plan.

Five new applications from oil companies wishing to join the forum were reviewed and all were accepted, taking OCIMF's membership up to 98 companies.

The 72nd Executive Committee meeting is set to take place in St Petersburg, Russia on 25 September 2013.


Raising global awareness of standards: OCIMF steps up activity in China

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On 22 May, OCIMF Director David Cotterell met with the China Classification Society (CCS) in Beijing, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CCS and OCIMF was signed. The MoU undertakes the translation of OCIMF publications from English into Mandarin. Upon signing the documents both David and Sun Licheng, the China Classification Society President, agreed that the translation project was an important step in improving standards and raising awareness within the Chinese domestic market and the international fleet in the region. The documents to be translated are;

  • Effective Mooring Edition 3;
  • ISGOTT Edition 5;
  • Ship to Ship Transfer Guide Edition 1 (when completed);
  • Mooring Equipment Guidelines Edition 3; and
  • ISGOTT Edition 6 (when completed).

The translation ceremony was followed by a Chinese Shipowners' Safety Management Workshop on 23 May, jointly hosted by OCIMF and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Dai Tong, CNOOCs Deputy General Manager, chaired the workshop, which was attended by 100 delegates from the Chinese energy shipping sector. Several members of the OCIMF China Focus Group were also on hand to brief delegates on how to get the best from SIRE and TMSA. In addition, several examples of best practices were given, and CNOOC gave a useful description of how they have benefitted from the recent introduction of SIRE and TMSA within their company. The presentations were followed by a lively debate and all agreed that the workshop had been an extremely useful exercise to strengthen and promote OCIMF engagement with maritime China.


MEPC addresses NOx Tier III readiness and agrees Draft Resolution on EEDI technology transfers

The most recent Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting took place at the IMO from 13 to 17 May, where the debate centred on the pressing issues of IMO standards for limiting nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and how to encourage wide-scale use of technologies related to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

Balancing NOx emissions and the Tier III implementation date

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The debate on NOx emissions centred on the question of how to implement Tier III emissions standards within the framework of EEDI. Following the report of the Correspondence Group by the US Coordinator, Russia presented its own paper which stated that, contrary to the findings of the report, engine manufacturers are not ready to meet the 2016 deadline as set out in the IMO's Marpol Annex VI.

Russia proposed the deadline be pushed back to 2021 for the entry into force of Tier III of the NOx Emission Control Areas (NECAs). Twenty Member States voted in favour of Russia's proposed amendment, with 14 countries raising objections. The draft amendment to Marpol Annex VI has therefore been accepted and will be considered at the next MEPC for adoption.

However, the subject remains very much up for discussion, as only 34 Member States voted during the MEPC meeting. At its next session, if a vote on the resolution is demanded, only the 74 Members that have ratified the Marpol Annex VI will be able to participate, and a two thirds majority is required for adoption. Therefore at this stage it is still not certain what the outcome will be.

Political debate about technology transfers related to EEDI

Another, more surprising outcome of the 65th meeting of the MEPC is the adoption of the Draft Resolution on Promotion on Technical Cooperation and Transfer of Technology, relating to the Improvement of Energy Efficiency of Ships. Debate on this Draft Resolution has been ongoing for more than two years, though after intense pressure from the IMO secretariat and the departing MEPC Chairperson, Andreas Chrysostomou, an agreement has been reached on a Draft Resolution (MEPC.65/J/10).

OCIMF finds the text to be well balanced, successfully integrating the principles of the IMO and of UNFCCC, which are occasionally understood as contradictory. Indeed, following the discussion the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands immediately made a declaration stressing that the UNFCCC Principles, primarily that referring to 'Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR)', cannot apply as they are not in the IMO texts.

China, India and other Member States with emerging markets, including Saudi Arabia, stressed that for the first time the UNFCCC principles are 'recognised' by the IMO which they consider to be a step in the right direction.

Application of the Draft Resolution will depend entirely upon the Member States themselves, and those which decide not to cooperate will not be compelled to.

For the full MEPC 65 report, please click here.


What's new:

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New team member at the secretariat - Publications Project Manager

We are pleased to welcome Kelly Hilditch to the OCIMF Secretariat. Kelly fills the newly created role of Publications Project Manager, and will develop, manage and implement OCIMF's print and online publications programme as well as co-ordinating OCIMF's communications and awareness raising activities.


On the horizon: Dates for your diary

IMO Committees:

  • 12-21 June - Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 92
  • 10-12 July - Technical Co-Operation Committee (TC) 63
  • 15-19 July - Council 110

SIRE Auditor Conference

  • 19 June - London, UK

OVID New Inspector Courses

  • 4 - 6 June - Lagos, Nigeria
  • 10 - 12 June - Stavanger, Norway

OVID Refresher Courses

  • 13 - 14 June - Stavanger, Norway

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