INTERTANKO warns inadequate regulations are hazardous

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INTERTANKO has raised alarm to the significant number of catastrophic incidents on small product tankers and chemical carriers, and has pushed for a revision of Inert Gas regulations to newbuildings in a bid to improve safety.

Concerned that the prime cause of 36 incidents examined was failure to follow procedures, INTERTANKO has submitted a report to the IMO stating that the present IG regulations incorrectly imply that the risks associated with the cargo are related to ship size or cargo tank size rather than to the properties of the cargo itself.

With resounding belief that the regulations should be in line with the risks that are presented by the properties of low-flash point cargoes, the inter-industry group has proposed simplification of the regulations and revision of SOLAS in the application of inert gas to new oil and chemical tankers of less than 20,000 dwt.

Captain Howard Snaith, Marine Director at INTERTANKO, said: “If a tanker needs inerting for safety reasons linked to its cargo, then it should be inerted irrespective of the size/type of tanker and the size of the cargo tank.”

Addressing the concerning number of tragic incidents in the tanker industry, INTERTANKO has pushed for the new principals to mandate installation of IG systems irrespective of a vessel’s size, type or cargo tank size, and the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Fire Protection (FP) is due to review this issue at its subsequent meeting.