IMO ban of old single hull tankers implemented
A revised international schedule for the phasing out single hull oil tankers, particularly old tankers, and a new regulation banning the carriage of heavy grade oil in single hull oil tankers, enter into force today.
Under the phase-out schedule of the International Maritime Organization, “Category 1” single hull oil tankers will not be able to trade after today (for ships built before April 1982) or after their anniversary date in 2005 (for ships delivered after April 5, 1982). Category 1 oil tankers (commonly known as “Pre-MARPOL tankers”) include oil tankers of 20,000 tons deadweight and above carrying crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil as cargo, and tankers of 30,000 tons deadweight and above carrying other oils, which do not comply with the requirements for protectively located segregated ballast tanks.
“Category 2” oil tankers which have some level of protection from protectively located segregated ballast tank requirements will be phased out according to their age up to 2010. Category 2 oil tankers (commonly known as “MARPOL tankers”) include oil tankers of 20,000 tons deadweight and above carrying crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil or lubricating oil as cargo, and oil tankers of 30,000 tons deadweight and above carrying other oils, which comply with the protectively located segregated ballast tank requirements.
2010 is also a final cut off date for “Category 3” oil tankers, which are generally smaller oil tankers. Category 3 oil tankers are oil tankers of 5,000 tons deadweight and above but less than the tonnage specified for Category 1 and 2 tankers.
The phase-out measures were adopted in December 2003, following the November 2002 sinking of the oil tanker “Prestige” off the Spanish coast.
Under the rules, tankers of single hull construction must either be phased out or converted to a “double hull” design according to a schedule based on their age. The double hull requirements for oil tankers are principally designed to reduce the risk of oil spills from tankers involved in low energy collisions or groundings, the International Maritime Organization said.
The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.