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Director's Log

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2015.

We open the year by informing you of a couple of milestones. First, we have a new publication, the Competence Assurance Guidelines for Mooring, Loading and Lightering Masters (available through our publishers and usual distributors). There's more information in the article below, but this is a publication I am particularly pleased to see. The use of Mooring Masters has increased over many years, to the point where it is now universal. What has been absent, until now, is a standardised competency reference and guidance specific to this skillset. The guide complements OCIMF's core values of standardisation and continuous improvement. I take this opportunity to commend the working group that produced this publication, and to thank all those member companies that contributed expertise to the group.

Competency, in the round, has been a subject avidly debated throughout the 2014 round of Regional Panels, and it is interesting to note how widely recognised the related issues have been. The debate ranged from difficulties recruiting personnel with the required competencies in some regions, through to how to assess and assure competency and find a consistent and effective way of addressing competency gaps.

It was also clear that the issue extended across the ship-shore interface, and was equally recognised on both ship and shore. The theme was very much to the fore when our Regional Champions and Secretariat staff met this month in a workshop designed to develop the Regional Panels to deliver even more in 2015. Competency was also in mind when developing SIRE inspector training (details included in this newsletter).

Our second milestone was the completion of the Pilot Project for the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG). All supporting partners are in strong agreement that the MTISC-GoG had proven its worth by delivering value and filling a much needed role. Over a thousand ships were reporting to the centre in December and accessing the available maritime security advice. The newsletter takes a look at the changes taking place at MTISC-GoG.

I close this month’s log with the usual request to members to submit articles of interest for this newsletter, and I reissue the annual request to members to provide us with photographs to enhance this year's OCIMF Annual Review, which is now in production.

Captain David Cotterell

Send your pictures for the annual report, or stories for the newsletter to

New publication: Competence Assurance Guidelines for Mooring, Loading and Lightering Masters

OCIMF's newest publication, the Competence Assurance Guidelines for Mooring, Loading and Lightering Masters, is now available.

The Guide is aimed at those involved in berthing, cargo transfer activities and un-berthing of vessels at various offshore marine facilities, including single point moorings (SPMs) (both buoy and tandem), multiple buoy moorings (MBMs), and ship to ship transfers. These guidelines will also be valuable to operators who have fixed berth facilities and manage in-house docking/berthing activities that are not serviced by a particular pilotage authority or covered by state or regulatory requirements.

The work groups Chairman, Paul Tait from Chevron, said that the Guide was, "an exciting new industry best practice" and that it would, "assist marine terminal and ship to ship operators/managers to assure and manage the competency of their Mooring, Loading and Lightering Masters". He went on to say that, "This area of the industry is well known to contain high risks, the guidelines will assist to better manage these risks by ensuring that key personnel involved in berthing/un-berthing vessels and cargo transfer activities at the terminals/ship to ship operations are competent and appropriately trained to carry out their job function."

The guide has been developed to reflect best practice in competence assurance, including:

  • The development, implementation and management of a competence assessment system.
  • Guidance on an individual’s competencies and knowledge requirements for a number of common tasks.
  • Recommendations for managing competence assessments and assessor requirements.
  • Recommendations for continued verification and periodic re-assessments covering various facility types.
  • Advice on record keeping with a software package that allows users to tailor the competence system to fit their particular operation, and to also maintain detailed competence records for personnel.

The work group's vice Chairman, Will Doolittle from BP, said, "This is a definitive guide that will enable managers to assess the competencies of mooring personnel and develop a bespoke training program that meets the unique requirements of unconventional marine facilities and ship-to-ship transfer operations."

The Competence Assurance Guidelines for Mooring, Loading and Lightering Masters is available here:

ECDIS course for SIRE inspectors

In 2014 the General Purposes Committee (GPC) agreed that all Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) inspectors should have some form of formal training in the use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS).

A survey of members established that approximately 60% of the inspector group (approximately 270 inspectors) did not have any such training. A bespoke course has been developed to bridge this gap, using an external training establishment. The course lasts a day and a half and involves hands-on use of various ECDIS systems.

The first two of these courses were held in Singapore on 20-21 January and 22-23 January with 20 candidates on each course. Ten courses are planned for 2015 and the programme will continue through 2016.

First SIRE refresher course of 2015 Twenty two inspectors attended the first SIRE refresher of 2015. The course was held in Singapore on 19-20 January.

Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea

January marked the end of a successful 2014 Pilot Project for the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC–GoG) and a move to the substantive phase of the project.

MTISC-GoG will carry on operating from its existing centre close to Tema Port, Ghana as it consolidates and continues to improve the service it offers to mariners.

The New Year brought a number of changes in personnel. MTISC-GoG said goodbye to its Officer in Charge, Lt William Sagoe of the Ghana Navy, and Mr Sulaimon Adebayo, a Senior Watchkeeper from OCIMF Member company NLNG. However, MTISC-GoG welcomed aboard new Officer in Charge Lt Ahmed Ankrah of the Ghana Navy, and its first Nigerian Naval Officer Lt Collins Preye Mezeh Nigerian Navy, who joined at the end of January.

Early January saw the Final Planning Conference for Exercise Obangame Express 15 take place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Exercise Obangame Express 15 is a regional naval exercise that takes place annually in the Gulf of Guinea with the assistance of the United States Africa Command. The MTISC-GoG Officer in Charge and Project Support Officer attended the conference because MTISC-GoG will be involved in many of the planned exercise serials. MTISC-GoG looks forward to participating in the exercise in April.

Next month MTISC-GoG will welcome two new joiners from the Republic of Congo Navy, (where they were seconded to the Centres of Coordination are under the command of the Regional Maritime Security Centre of Central Africa (CRESMAC) Centre in Pointe-Noire) together with an INTERPOL Liaison Officer from Côte d'Ivoire.

Further details of MTISC-GoG activity can be found on the MTISC-GoG website

Maritime Security Snippets

The OCIMF maritime security website has been revamped and contains updated security related reports, regional references and guidance.

For any difficulties encountered in accessing the site contact Russell Pegg, TA Maritime Security –

Linked emergency shutdown systems for oil, chemical and liquefied petroleum gas transfers

The Ship Shore Emergency Shutdown Joint Work Group (SSESD WG) held its fourth meeting on the 8 January at the OCIMF offices in London and was attended by OCIMF, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) and Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI).

The search continues for an industry standard connection that will enable ship and shore emergency shut down (ESD) systems to be linked. SIGTTO, CDI and OCIMF are part of the initiative aimed at oil, chemical and liquefied petroleum gas transfers.

The group have been evaluating various options for a universal connection and are looking at finalising their recommendations for presentation at the next meeting of OCIMF’s Ports and Terminals Committee in Houston on 14-15 April 2015.

OCIMF 2015 meeting dates

17-18 March General Purposes Committee (GPC 80) London
19 March European Regional Panel (ERP 3) London
24-25 March Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 10) Dubai
26 March Middle Eastern and African Regional Panel (MEARP 4) Dubai
14-15 April Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 82) Houston
16 April Americas Regional Panel (ARP 3) Houston
10 June Executive Committee (Excom 75) Singapore
11 June Asia Pacific Regional Panel (APRP 3) Singapore
29-30 September General Purposes Committee (GPC 81) Dubai
1 October Middle Eastern and African Regional Panel (MEARP 5) Dubai
13-14 October Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 83) London
15 October European Regional Panel (ERP 4) London
27-28 October Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 11) Singapore
29 October Asia Pacific Regional Panel (APRP 4) Singapore
11 November Executive Committee (Excom 76) Houston
12 November Americas Regional Panel (ARP 4) Houston

If you are interested in attending any of the Regional Panel meetings, please either register your interest via or email