Director's Log

The year end is rapidly approaching and, for many of us, there are just a few working days left in 2016.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the OCIMF Secretariat and the members for their hard work; work that helps make our industry even safer. The strength of OCIMF is in the support from our members, who populate the committees and working groups that produce our authoritative publications and programmes. OCIMF also works closely with many of our fellow non-governmental organisations; we have a louder and clearer voice when we work together to support regulators in making good regulation.

This year, while updating the Mooring Equipment Guidelines, OCIMF has worked closely with a wide range of industry groups representing rope manufacturers, shipyards and ship operators. Their support has been invaluable in revising this important publication, which addresses an area of shipping operation that still causes injury to seafarers.

2016 has been a busy year for the OCIMF Secretariat, committees and working groups. We published three new information papers and made significant progress across many other areas. Looking ahead to 2017, highlights will include:

  • Changes to the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) rules will allow the wider offshore industry access to the database. The new rules come into effect on 16 January 2017.
  • Publication of the third edition of the Tanker Management Self Assessment (TMSA).
  • New and revised publications due out in 2017 cover a wide range of topics including Oil and Chemical Tanker Manifolds, Ship/Shore Emergency Shutdown Systems, Inert Gas Systems, Ship Security, Navigation and more.

In 2016 the industry gained much needed clarity on the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention and confirmation of the introduction date in 2020 of the global cap on sulphur in marine fuel oil. Both regulations will improve the environmental performance of our shipping industry and will gain an increasing amount of our attention in 2017 to support their safe introduction into the global fleet.

I would like to wish all readers of the OCIMF newsletter a happy Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and a healthy and successful 2017.

Stay safe,

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF

Do you have news to share with our readers? If so email [email protected]

News from the IMO

The 97th session of the Marine Safety Committee was held from 21 to 25 November at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

Main items of interest for OCIMF members were:

Early implementation of SOLAS instruments

The subject of early implementation of SOLAS instruments and possible differing opinions between Flag States and Port States towards the legitimacy of new ‘rules’, i.e. outside the recently approved four-year cycle, was extensively discussed and acknowledged as a valid concern. It will be further discussed at the next session.

Carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel

Good progress was made on:

  1. Definition of industrial personnel (not as passengers as defined in SOLAS I/2(e)).
  2. Definition of industrial activities.
  3. Approval of interim guidelines captured in a circular letter.
  4. Approval of a roadmap to continue the work on mandatory SOLAS regulations.

Maritime Security – Gulf of Guinea

There was acknowledgement of the OCIMF role in the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG) and an update on the Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG (the UK/French navy initiative to take forward MTISC-GOG). Local west African countries called for local engagement to ensure MDAT-GoG is a success. The IMO secretariat, UK and France explained the new role of MDAT-GoG and requested Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) support for the initiative.

The 117th session of the Council was held from 5 to 8 December at the IMO.

Main items of interest for OCIMF members were:

Protection of vital shipping lanes

During his summary of security issues around the world, the IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, was very complimentary about OCIMF and their involvement in MTISC-GOG, noting "OCIMF had concluded its successful trial, which was supported by IMO membership and donor nations through the West & Central Africa Fund". He also wanted put on record IMO’s sincere appreciation to OCIMF for conducting the trial and that the new interim arrangements provided by the French and UK navies went live on 20 June. The Chair of the IMO Council also recognised and thanked OCIMF.

World Maritime Day 2017 and 2018

The Council endorsed the Secretary-General's proposed theme for World Maritime Day 2017, which will be "Connecting Ships, Ports and People" and for World Maritime Day 2018: "IMO 70: our heritage – better shipping for a better future".

Better regulation

A proposal for the principles to be considered in the review of existing IMO outputs and the development of new outputs was introduced by Greece, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO. The Council did not support the specific proposal contained in the document, but decided to keep the item on its agenda and invited submissions from interested delegations for consideration at its next session.

Dates for your diary 2017

OCIMF's Principal Committee meetings.

March 28 – 29 General Purposes Committee (GPC 84) London
April 4 – 5 Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 14) Singapore
April 26 – 27 Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 86) Houston
May 24 Executive Committee (ExCom 79) Houston
October 3 – 4 Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 15) Houston
October 10 – 11 General Purposes Committee (GPC 85) Singapore
October 17 – 18 Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 87) London
November 8 Executive Committee (ExCom 80) Singapore

Tightening compliance for SIRE and OVID reports

SIRE and OVID inspectors are trusted individuals who contribute the reports relied upon by industry for marine assurance.

They rarely miss entering required comments to mandatory inspection questions; but what happens when they do? The simple answer is: nothing. As it currently stands, the report editor will not flag the question as incomplete and there is nothing to stop the report from being uploaded to the SIRE or OVID database. The report can stay in the database, incomplete, without impact until a reader objects. Companies that buy and download the report expect, rightly, to find mandatory questions populated with information. Once a reader objects to the missing information, a large amount of time is spent chasing the inspector to complete the entry. Fixing these occasional lapses by inspectors takes up a disproportionate amount of time and effort of the vessel operator, the submitting company, the receiving company and the OCIMF Secretariat.

To address this, from 3 April 2017 OCIMF will stop accepting reports submitted by inspectors that have empty comment fields where programme guidance requires a response or mandatory written observation. The report editor will not allow reports to be uploaded until the inspector has entered an observation of at least 15 characters into the comment field. This new way of working will eliminate hundreds of emails between those affected by missing information.

SIRE New Inspector courses 2017

SIRE is offering the following New Inspector courses in 2017.

February 13 – 17 Singapore
May 8 – 12 London
June 12 – 16 USA
October 16 – 20 (revised date) Singapore
November 27 – December 1 London

Global Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group

The Global Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group (GICBFG) has been established to elevate the barging industry globally to the same standards as unrestricted shipping.

GICBFG held its 5th meeting in London on 15 December, 6 people attended the meeting in person, with a further 8 dialling in on conference call from the United States and Argentina representing the regional groups. The Focus Group works under the General Purposes Committee (GPC) and its purpose is to:

  • Advise the GPC and other OCIMF groups on inland and coastal barging related matters.
  • Advise the SIRE Focus Group on issues related to inland and coastal barging that may prompt changes to the regional Barge Inspection Questionnaires.
  • Oversee regional inland and coastal barging focus groups, which report to GICBFG for wider barging issues, e.g. safety and pollution prevention. The regional groups are: South and Central America; North America; Europe. Other regional groups will be set up as necessary.
  • Provide a forum for OCIMF member subject matter experts to work together to improve inland and coastal barging quality on a global level, as it relates to safety and pollution prevention issues.
  • Work with regional trade industry organisations to improve operational standards.
  • Develop and publish industry best practice, guidance and recommendations as required and revise existing publications.
  • Work with regional authorities and national governments on regulatory matters.
  • Review proposed legislation and rules identified by OCIMF members that affect inland and coastal barging to determine the safety and environmental impact on industry.

The Global Inland and Coastal Barging Focus Group. From left to right: Glen Sampy, BP; Anuj Gupta, IMT; Francois Lejar, Total; Andy Aitchison, Shell; Peter Schotter, BP; Oliver Pointon, OCIMF.

Thank you for your support in 2016.
We wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017

Instead of sending paper cards, OCIMF have made donations to the following marine charities: Apostleship of the Sea, Seafarers UK – Merchant Navy Fund and Sailors' Children's Society