Update on China oil pollution legislation - 7th April 2011

The last formal advice from the Club on the "Regulations of the PRC on the Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution from Ships" was issued in our circular dated 18th January 2011.

Since then, two implementing regulations of concern to shipowners have been issued by the China Ministry of Transportation (MOT):

1. Regulation on Administration of the Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution caused by Ships and their Relevant Operations (MOT decree No.7 (2010)) This Regulation came into force on the 1st Feb 2011.

Under this MOT decree No.7 (2010), the following is required:

a) Discharge of ship's garbage, residue water waste, oil waste and sludge etc. containing toxic and hazardous substance within Chinese waters should meet the requirements of international conventions endorsed by China and local laws.

b) Ships trading on international voyages are required to dispose of all ship's waste before leaving Chinese ports. Certificates for completing the disposal should be presented to MSA for port clearance.

c) Shipowners must contract with a registered sludge removal contractor.

d) Each local MSA will vet sludge removal contractors in accordance with their own criteria. All registered sludge removal contractors are published on the local MSA websites

e) The contract or agreement between the contractor and the owner does not usually contain liability and insurance provisions which could affect Club cover. However if the Member is asked to sign a contract which does contain such a provision, Members are recommended to submit the contract for Club's review.

A more detailed commentary on this Regulation can be found in CMS' latest newsletter. Owners can contact their local agents to assist in complying with this operational requirement. If owners wish to use CMS for this purpose, CMS has indicated that it will charge a fee for its assistance.

2. Regulations on the Emergency Prevention and Disposal of Marine Pollution from Ships - Regulation concerning oil spill response organizations (OSROs)

This Regulation, published on 1st March 2011 in MOT decree No. 4 (2011), will take effect on 1st June 2011. However the key elements of the Regulation, name the list of approved OSROs and the MSA suggested model contract between OSROs and shipowners have not yet been published. Hence the Club has not been in a position to issue formal advice to Members. It is hoped that the list of OSROs and the model contract will be made available in the near future.

We will advise Members as soon as more information is available.

Staff Author