3 Non-Mandatory Provisions
Clasification Society 2024 - Version 9.40
Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - Guidelines - SOPEP - Guidelines for the Development of Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency PlansResolution MEPC.54(32) Amended by Resolution MEPC.86(44) - 3 Non-Mandatory Provisions

3 Non-Mandatory Provisions

  3.1 In addition to the provisions required by regulation 26 (now regulation 37) of annex I of the Convention, local requirements, insurance company, or owner/operator policies, etc., may dictate that other guidance be provided in the Plan. These topics may include: provision of diagrams and drawings, ship-carried response equipment, public affairs, record-keeping, and reference materials.

  3.2 Plans and diagrams: In addition to the plans required by 2.5.4 above, other details concerning the ship's design and construction may be appended to the Plan or their location identified.

  3.3 Response equipment: Some ships may carry on board equipment to assist in pollution response. The type and quantity of this equipment may vary widely. The Plan should indicate an inventory of such equipment, if carried. It should also provide directions for safe use and guidelines to assist the master in determining when such use is warranted. Care should be exercised to ensure that the use of such equipment by the crew is practical and consistent with safety considerations. When such equipment is carried, the Plan should establish personnel responsibilities for its deployment, oversight, and maintenance. In order to ensure safe and effective use of such equipment, the Plan should also provide for crew training in the use of it. The Plan should include a provision that no chemical agent should be used for response to pollution on the sea without authorization of the appropriate coastal State and that such authorization should also be requested, when required, for use of containment or recovery equipment (see paragraph 1.4.7).

  3.4 Shoreside Spill Response Co-ordinator or Qualified Individual: Guidance for the master for requesting and co-ordinating initial response actions with the person responsible for mobilizing shoreside response personnel and equipment.

  3.5 Some coastal States require ships to have contracts with "response contractors" when ships enter into such States' ports. When ships sail toward such States, it is recommended that response resources (personnel and equipment) and capabilities are identified in advance for each potential port State. In other States, in particular, those referred to in paragraph 1.4.7, such requirements do not exist in general.

  3.6 Planning Standards: To facilitate forethought about the amount of response resources which should be requested, possible scenarios should be analysed and accordingly planned for (see paragraph 1.4.7).

  3.7 Public affairs: The owners may want to include in the Plan guidance for the master in dealing with the distribution of information to the news media. Such guidance should be fashioned to reduce the burden on ship's personnel already busy with the emergency at hand.

  3.8 Record-keeping: As with any other incident that will eventually involve liability, compensation and reimbursement issues, the owner may want to include in the Plan guidance on keeping appropriate records of the pollution incident. Apart from detailing all actions taken on board, records might include communications with outside authorities, owners, and other parties, as well as a brief summary of decisions and information passed and received. Guidance on collection of samples of spilled oil as well as oil carried on board may also be provided.

  3.9 Plan review: Regular review of the Plan by the owner, operator or master is recommended to ensure that the specific information contained therein is current. A feedback system should be employed which will allow quick capture of changing information and incorporation of it into the Plan. This feedback system should include the following:

  • .1 periodic review: the Plan should be reviewed by the owner or operator at least yearly to capture changes in local law or policy, contact names and numbers, ship characteristics, or company policy;

  • .2 event review: after any use of the Plan in response to an incident, its effectiveness should be evaluated by the owner or operator and modifications made accordingly.

  3.10 Plan testing: The Plan will be of little value if it is not made familiar to the personnel who will use it. Regular exercises will ensure that the Plan functions as expected and that the contacts and communications specified are accurate. Such exercises may be held in conjunction with other shipboard exercises and appropriately logged. Where ships carry response equipment, hands-on experience with it by crew members will greatly enhance safety and effectiveness in an emergency situation. Procedures for training and exercise may be defined.

  3.11 Salvage: The plan should contain information on what the crew's responsibilities are in a casualty where a vessel is partially or fully disabled, and what constitutes dangerous conditions. A decision process should be outlined in the plan that will aid the master in determining when salvage assistance should be obtained. The decision process should include, but not be limited to the following:

  • .1 Nearest land or hazard to navigation;

  • .2 Vessel's set and drift;

  • .3 Location and time of impact with hazard based on vessel's set and drift;

  • .4 Estimated time of casualty repair; and

  • .5 Determination of the nearest capable assistance and its response time (i.e. or tug assistance, the time it will take to get on scene and secure the tow). When a casualty occurs to a vessel underway that reduces its manoeuvrability, the master needs to determine his window of opportunity considering the response time of assistance, regardless of the estimated time of repair. It would not be prudent to hesitate in calling for assistance when the time needed to repair something goes beyond the window of opportunity.

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