The new SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-11 adopted by Resolution MSC.291(87) requires that all cargo oil tanks of crude oil tankers shall be coated during construction or protected by alternative means of corrosion protection or corrosion resistant material.
However, INTERTANKO Members may recall that, following proposals raised by other organisations, it was agreed that an Administration may exempt a crude oil tanker from the requirement if the ship is built to be engaged solely in the carriage of cargoes and cargo handling operations not causing corrosion.
IMO guidelines have subsequently been issued in MSC.1/Circ.1421 and may be of interest to Members. Criteria to be used when considering such "benign crude oils" have requirements related to H2S, temperature, water content, salt content and acid number. When all conditions have been satisfied and the exemption procedure followed, an administration may issue an exemption certificate in addition to the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate or Cargo Ship Safety Certificate.
Should a vessel switch from one benign crude trade to another, a new approval for exemption must be obtained.
Of particular note is that in the event that a vessel ceases trading with benign crude only, the cargo tanks will need to be brought into compliance with SOLAS regulation II-1/3-11 before being allowed to trade with non-benign crude oils.