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The Final Rule on Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (VRP) is published in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 189, dated Monday 30th September 2013.
Non-Tank vessel owners are required to submit their VRPs to the Coast Guard by 30th January 2014.
Self-propelled, non-tank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater, that carry oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and that operates on the navigable waters of the United States.
USCG has issued a rolling FAQ which gives interpretations on the Final Rule requirements. A copy can be found on the UK Club website: http://www.ukpandi.com/fileadmin/uploads/uk-pi/Latest_Publications/Circulars/2013/NTVRP%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20%28Dec%2002%202013%29.pdf
Alternatively, the following link provides the latest edition on the US Coast Guard “Homeport” website – https:..homeport.uscg.mil. Navigate to the FAQs options by selecting “Missions” on the options menu, followed by “Environmental” then “Vessel Response Program”
Non-Tank vessel owners will be required to enter into Funding Agreements with salvage, marine fire-fighting companies (SMFF) and Oil Spill Response Organisations (OSRO).
It has been the practice in the US that QI (Qualified Individual) companies prepare VRPs and other plans for vessels owners (hence they are also now called plan writers). Most of the US QI companies offer such services.
The main US QIs are:
All of them have issued many advisories to their shipowner customers on VRP matters.
No. Only non-tank vessels with oil-carrying capacity of 2,500 barrels (c. 395,000 litres ) or greater must enter into funding agreement with SMFF.
Five salvors’ Funding agreements have been reviewed and found to conform with the International Group (IG) Salvage Guidelines on Vessel Response Plans. These agreements with footers for identification are listed below.
Non-tank vessel owners with a fuel and cargo capacity of less than 2,500 barrels (c. 395,000 litres ) but greater than or equal to 250 barrels (c.39,500 litres) are only required to identify resource providers in their VRPs and have the agreement of the salvor to list them in their plans rather than enter into a full Funding Agreement. The following such agreements have been reviewed and found to conform with the International Group (IG) Salvage Guidelines on Vessel Response Plans.
The Club maintains a special section of the website “ US Vessel Response Plan compliance” where the appropriate funding agreeements are available for download as PDF documents - http://www.ukpandi.com/knowledge/industry-developments/us-vessel-response-plan-compliance/
Unlike the position with regard to Oil Spill Response Organisations which are classified by the USCG, it is the responsibility of the shipowner or operator to ensure that SMFFs have capability measured against 15 criteria and to certify to this effect. Those 15 criteria can be found in Circular 14/13, Annex 2.
The detailed requirements on contracting with SMFF are almost identical to those for tank vessels. Please refer to Circular 12/10 relating to tank vessels for full details of the requirements, including an FAQ on SMFF, 15 criteria, IG guidelines relating to SMFF in VRP.
Members should also check with their chosen SMFF that they are able to provide resources meeting the 15 criteria in all the geographic areas of the United States which their ships will visit.
Yes, they should consult their property underwriters with regard to selection of any particular contract/funding agreement.
Non-tank vessel owners will also be required to enter into contracts with oil spill response contractors with sufficient response resources and dispersant capability to deal with a worst case discharge.
Only two: MSRC (Marine Spill Response Corporation) and NRC (National Response Corporation).
Both MSRC and NRC’s spill response contracts have been confirmed to be in conformity with IG guidelines.
Yes. Both MSRC and NRC can provide the necessary dispersant and aerial tracking capability to enable non-tank vessel owners to comply with the new regulations. MSRC is willing to provide this facility at no extra charge on terms that comply with IG guidelines. NRC is also willing to provide this facility but, in order to do so on terms which comply with IG guidelines, it is expected that they will levy an additional annual charge.
Contact at MSRC: Judith Roos – Tel (703) 326 5617 – email@example.com
Contact at MPA: Brett Drewry – Tel: (480) 991 5599 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact at NRC: Tel: (631) 224-9141 - email@example.com (Client Service Group) or Bryan Bell (Primary) (631) 259-6664 - firstname.lastname@example.org and Deborah Wick (Alternate) (631) 892-3392 - email@example.com
No. Members should contact OSROs directly to find out their rates and decide which one suits them the best. Members may also wish to consult with their VRP plan writers regarding their choice of the OSRO.
No. Members are recommended to only sign the contract which has been identified as being in conformity with the IG guidelines.
Both MSRC and NRC contracts can be found as attachments to the website version of Circular 19/13 “United States Vessel Response Plans – OSRO Contracts” - http://www.ukpandi.com/publications/article/circular-19-13-united-states-vessel-response-plans-osro-contracts-129603/
We understand QIs’ advice was given on the basis that the contracts with both MSRC and NRC are still very economical. So it does no harm to have two OSRO resources pre-contracted. But the price may change in the future and owners may find unaffordable to contract with both. The law/regulation only requires owners to contract an OSRO with the necessary oil spill response capacity. Both MSRC and NRC can provide the necessary capability to enable non-tank vessel owners to comply with the new regulations. The decision is therefore that of the owners.
Contact your usual Club person or contact Dr Chao Wu (+44 207 204 2157, Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)