Circular 22/13: Washington State - Contingency Plan Requirements


  • Washington State Maritime Co-operative (WSMC) has revised its enrolment agreement.  It now complies with International Group (IG) guidelines
  • National Response Corporation (NRC) also provides Washington State approved and IG compliant contingency plans
  • Specimen documents for both organisations are attached to this circular
  • This circular refers to Circular 17/13 Washington State – Contingency Plan requirements

To the Members

Dear Sirs


Members are referred to Circular No. 17/13. As stated in that Circular every tank vessel and every other vessel over 300 gt is required under Washington State law to file a contingency plan prior to entry into the waters of Washington State and that instead of filing his own plan an owner can subscribe to an umbrella oil spill contingency plan.

Since publishing that Circular, Washington State Maritime Co-operative (WSMC) has changed its enrolment agreement and the version with footer “WSMC Enrolment Agreement – December 2013” conforms to the International Group’s guidelines on vessel response plans.  In addition, with effect from 1 January 2014, WSMC will become a member of the Marine Preservation Association (MPA) thus providing access to the resources of Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC). It should be noted that WSMC’s contract using the National Response Corporation (NRC) as the primary response contractor to provide the spill response resources to meet requirements of Washington State law will end on 31 December 2013. 

Members trading to Washington State (with the exception of the Columbia River) now have two options for coverage:

Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) 
By signing the WSMC enrolment agreement with footer “WSMC/MSRC Enrolment Agreement – December 2013” the owner agrees not only to the terms of the WSMC enrolment agreement but also to the terms and conditions of “WSMC Member MSRC Service Agreement”. Both agreements are attached to this Circular and both have been found to conform to the IG guidelines on Vessel Response Plans.  In the case of a spill WSMC will use the resources of MSRC as its Primary Response Contractor except in the areas of Grays Harbor and San Juan Islands when the resources of Global Diving and Salvage and Islands' Oil Spill Association (IOSA) will be used. 

Further details can be obtained by using the following link:


National Response Corporation (NRC)
As mentioned in our earlier circular NRC now has in place its own Washington State Contingency Plan (NRC Covered Vessels Washington State Contingency Plan) which has received the approval of the Washington State Department of Ecology.  From 1 November 2013, tank and non-tank owners are able to meet the requirements of Washington State law by signing a contract and addendum with NRC.  The “NRC Covered Vessels Washington State Contingency Plan” complies with IG guidelines.  Those owners who have already signed a contract with NRC for the purposes of federal response need only sign the addendum with footer “NRC Covered Vessels Washington State Contingency Plan – November 2013” which is also attached to this Circular.

Further details can be obtained by using the following link:

Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV)
The position with regard to the ERTV remains unchanged from Circular No. 17/13. Members should note that, irrespective of whether the NRC Covered Vessels Washington State Contingency Plan or the WSMC enrolment agreement are used, it will still be necessary, prior to entry into Washington State waters with the exception of the Columbia River, to enrol with the Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV) for the services of the tug stationed at Neah Bay.  For further details please refer to the earlier Circular No. 17/13 and the following link:

Yours faithfully




  • Members requiring further information should contact Dr. Chao Wu ( or telephone +44 20 7204 2157).

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