Intertanko calls for practical scheduling for single-hulled tanker phaseout

The council of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners is calling on delegates to an International Maritime Organization environmental committee meeting in London next week to agree on a schedule for the phase-out of single-hulled tankers that is 'reasoned and practical,' said the shipping organization Thursday.


The council of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) is calling on delegates to an International Maritime Organization environmental committee meeting in London next week to agree on a schedule for the phase-out of single-hulled tankers that is "reasoned and practical," said the shipping organization Thursday.

The subject of single-hulled tanker phase-outs is being discussed at the 45th session of IMO�s Marine Environment Protection Committee in London Oct. 2-6.

Intertanko said the European Commission�s (EC) proposals on the accelerated phaseout of single-hulled tankers was "the most controversial" of a series of three initiatives it launched in the immediate aftermath of the sinking of the tanker Erika off France last December.

As a result of lobbying by a number of governments and industry bodies, including INTERTANKO, the EC agreed to pursue its proposals through IMO rather than introduce its measures solely as a regulation for European Union member states. However, should IMO fail to agree on a solution deemed to be acceptable, the danger of regional action being taken in Europe remains.

The initial proposal has reached IMO, slightly modified, in the form of a joint submission from France, Belgium, and Germany. This and several other initial proposals call for the accelerated phase-out of single-hulled tankers under a schedule that INTERTANKO contends could create problems for the world shipbuilding and scrapping industries.

The French-German-Belgian proposal would create peaks in demand for new tonnage, the tanker group said, that must be smoothed out if global oil deliveries are to continue at current levels.

INTERTANKO said its proposal calls for the entire phase-out to be gradually achieved during 2010-15. This timetable is closely aligned with the US Oil Pollution Act requirements for the phase-in of double-hulled tankers.

These and other proposals will be considered at the IMO environmental committee meeting. It is expected that IMO will finalize the issue at the next such committee meeting in April 2001.

INTERTANKO said other measures besides phase-out of single-hulled vessels must be considered when addressing tanker accidents. It said rigorous casualty investigations should be carried out prior to the promulgation of the new regulations in order to ensure the regulatory regime evolves in line with industry�s needs.

In addition, ship inspections must be carried out to a uniformly high standard, Intertanko said.

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