The US Coast Guard is tightening its vigilance on ships which may infringe MARPOL regulations, the American P&I Club has warned its members.
Since the club first offered guidance to members on preventative measures needed to protect themselves from possible MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 73/78) some five years ago, managers have become aware of a “significant increase” in USCG activity concerning oily water separators and associated electronic monitoring equipment.
USCG officers have compared oil record book entries to the electronically recorded history in the memory of the monitoring equipment. Reminding members of this recording function in more modern installations, the club says it is also important to recognise that, frequently, when monitoring equipment has been serviced or repaired, the original equipment will have been replaced by the more modern technology with the recording function.
Chief engineers should be aware of this when compiling oil record book entries, and they should be able to demonstrate to any Port State Control inspector how to display the recorded history held within the monitoring equipment.
It is crucial, the club adds, that consistency is maintained at all times between electronically recorded data and entries in oil record books, log books and sounding books – simple errors can lead to significant fines and delays to vessels.