China SPROs Update IG FAQ - Friday 23rd December

For those Members who follow closely the Club’s email updates, you will have noted that matters have developed significantly and rapidly in the PRC over the past two weeks.  The International Group (IG) has liaised further with the China MSA, and with various ship pollution response organisations (SPROs), shipowners and other interested parties in order to clarify a number of issues and to work towards ensuring, so far as possible, that there are suitable contractual arrangements in place to permit Members to be able to comply with the Regulations as easily and efficiently as possible.  

The China MSA issued an Announcement yesterday (22 December 2011) outlining further requirements relating to the Regulations. Three significant issues most concerning the Members are the following:

  1. There will be no deferral of the implementation date of the Regulations of 1 January 2012 in ports that have approved SPROs.  However, if an operator is unable to finalise a contract with a SPRO in these ports before arrival of a vessel the local MSA may permit entry of that vessel subject to operators providing an explanation to the local MSA in advance of arrival as to why it has not been able to conclude a contract to the MSA.  If a vessel is permitted entry in these circumstances a contract will have to be concluded before the vessel departs the port.  In any case, from 1st March 2012*, ships that don't comply with the Regulations and have not concluded and signed the contract will be dealt with by MSA strictly in accordance with the Regulations.
  2. Umbrella SPROs/alliances/consortia and agents signing contracts on behalf of operators will need to file relevant documentation with the MSA in order to be registered/approved.  A list of registered/approved agents and umbrella SPROs/alliances/consortia will be published on the China MSA website: http://msa.gov.cn
  3. Overseas operators without a branch company or office or representative in China can choose to sign a clean up contract directly with an approved SPRO or appoint an agent to sign the contract on their behalf.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been developed by the IG and can be found here. The FAQs incorporate recent developments and the requirements of the China MSA Notice of 22 December 2011, as well as answering all other questions Members may have on the China SPROs contracting requirements. These FAQs will be updated as appropriate with further developments when known.  

Members are strongly recommended to look at the linked FAQs for detailed information which should answer most of your questions.

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