Focusing on PSC CIC for MARPOL Annex VI

There has been over three years since the new requirements of MARPOL Annex VI, that impose a specific limit on the Sulphur content being used in ships fuel, came into force in the Special Emission Control Areas (SECAs).


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How to Prevent Collision During STS Operations

It was recently shared by SHIPOWNERS P&I Club, that a number of their members experience a large number of collision claims related to berthing operations during STS. The club had published on 27/01/2015 a bulletin with advises to members on procedures towards ensuring that STS approaching is carefully planned.


Nevertheless, the club still experiences a large number of incident claims and recently has shared with its members that a diligent planning should include the club recommendations that were outlined in the billeting of 27 January 2015.

Human element is the major factor during the organisation and assessment of an STS operation. By far most important is to follow industry guidelines while simultaneously making sure that all STS stakeholders evaluate and implement industry guidelines with due care. Regardless the level of preparedness a ship owner implements in an STS operation through training, procedures and evaluation, it is important to know that all three involved parties (both vessels and the POAC) act with the required level of preparedness.

The culture of being diligent in the organisation of an STS operation is implied through “Due Diligence” actions that need to be exercised, primarily from the shipping company followed by well-established and measurable procedures.

Vessel approaching during an STS operation is the first action towards implementing the operation but also denotes that “proper planning” has been effected prior to engaging to the physical process.

Online STS has issued a safety circular withsafety precautions which, when taken, help in avoiding a potential collision. Some of these precautions are outlined below:

  • Assess the Joint Plan provided by the Service Provider and POAC along with its risk assessment
  • Assess the Parallel body of the manoeuvring vessel and make sure that primary fenders are correctly positioned
  • Assess the position of the secondary fenders
  • Assess that the scheduled fenders are adequate for your STS operation
  • Assess that fenders are properly maintained according to industry and ISO requirements
  • In consecutive STS operations, where fenders have been placed on the constant heading vessel, attention is drawn to the RISK assessment that has been developed
  • Ensure that the participating (manoeuvring) vessel does not have any pending class conditions etc
  • Make sure that the crew is fatigue free, especially during consecutive STS operations
  • Conduct a relevant drill prior to the STS operation

More information can be found in onlineSTS Safety Circular 18 Steps To Prevent a Collision During Manoeuvring for a Ship-To-Ship Transfer Operation.

Transport Canada Fuel Oil Sulphur Content Inspections

Effective August 22, 2016, Transport Canada Marine Safety Inspectors will verify compliance with the 0.10% sulphur content requirements for fuel oil used on board ships operating within the Canadian jurisdiction of the North American Emission Control Area through on-site fuel sampling and testing.


Since January 1, 2015, the sulphur content of marine fuel used on board a vessel must not exceed 0.10% by mass within the Canadian jurisdiction of the NA-ECA, as set out in Section 111 of the Regulations. The NA-ECA standard should provide important benefits to Canada.  It is expected to result in a more than 90% decline in sulphur oxide emissions from vessels.

Since most vessels must use more expensive low sulphur fuel oil to comply with these standards compared to vessels operating outside of ECAs under MARPOL, Transport Canada will rigorously monitor vessels to ensure they are complying with the NA-ECA standards.

Transport Canada will use portable fuel analyzers onboard vessels to measure the sulphur content of its fuel oil to verify compliance with the NA-ECA standard. Test results will help inspectors make informed decisions on the next enforcement steps during the course of the inspection.

During an inspection of a vessel, a Marine Safety Inspector may require a sample of fuel from the engine’s fuel system and perform an analysis of the fuel sample using a fuel analyzer.

Depending on the results of the analysis, the inspector may also forward the samples to an accredited laboratory to confirm compliance with the fuel oil sulphur content requirements. If the analyzer is not available, the inspector may forward the fuel sample directly to the laboratory for analysis.

The vessel’s authorized representative will be informed of the analytical results. In addition, Transport Canada will share the results with industry stakeholders, other maritime administrations and the International Maritime Organization, but will make data on individual ships anonymous.

The Ship Safety Bulletin No. 08/2016, is available at:


Riyadh MoU CIC on Safety of Navigation

Riyadh MoU is launching a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) based on Safety of Navigation, SOLAS Chapter V. The campaign period will be commenced from 1st October 2015 and it will be held for 3 months, ending on 31st December 2015.

2015.10.01 Riyadh MoU CIC on Safety of Navigation

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Crew familiarization for Enclosed Space Entry CIC

A Port State Control (PSC) Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) is being carried out from September up until November 2015 in Paris MoUTokyo MoUBlack Sea MoU, Indian Ocean MoU and Mediterranean MoU. It is expected that the Tokyo and Paris MoUs will carry out approximately 10,000 inspections during the CIC.

2015.08.030 - Crew familiarization for Enclosed Space Entry CIC

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Caribbean MOU CIC on Safety of Navigation & Hours of Work/Rest

The Caribbean MOU is carrying out a Concentrated Inspection Campaign on Safety of Navigation and Hours of Work or Rest from September until November 2015. This is the 2nd CIC launched by the Caribbean MoU on these subject.

2015.09.01 Caribbean MOU CIC on Safety of Navigation & Hours of WorkRest

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Black Carbon Emissions from Shipping

This past January, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made long-anticipated progress on the definition of black carbon from shipping. After four years of agonizing debate, the subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) recommended that the Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) accept the definition used in this landmark paper by Tami Bond et al., and move forward with its work plan on black carbon. Next steps include developing a standardized way to measure black carbon and investigating potential control options.

2015.08.19 - Black Carbon Emissions from Shipping Figure 02

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Use of Armed Security Guards in Indian Ports

The issue of using armed security guards onboard merchant vessels used to be a matter that required particular attention in the past. However, during the recent years and due to the fact that the maritime security industry became more regulated (e.g. ISO/PAS 28007:2012) the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) onboard ships has become a routine.

2015.07.21 - Use of Armed Security Guards in Indian Ports

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Avoidable Accidents

No system is perfect and risk is everywhere, probably nowhere more so than in shipping, with no guarantees that there will never be an accident, nor that a particular accident will never repeat itself.

2015.07.06 - Avoidable Accidents

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Learning from Incidents

It is a common experience to hear the phrase “We must learn lessons from this” following a major accident, or a more everyday event such as losing in a sporting competition.  Indeed this has become such a common phrase that one may feel that learning lessons is an automatic or natural process.

2015.06.29 - Learning from Incidents

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